14,000 campaigners say NO to the detention of children - Refugee Council
September 18, 2006

14,000 campaigners say NO to the detention of children

Today, Monday 18 September 2006, the Refugee Council, Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and Save the Children will deliver postcards to the Home Office calling for the immediate end to the detention of children.

As part of the No Place for a Child campaign run by the three organisations in partnership with the Scottish and Welsh Refugee Councils, 14,000 people signed up to oppose locking up asylum seeker and migrant children.

The cards call on the Home Secretary to stop the detention of children for immigration purposes, and to introduce alternatives to detention for these children and their families.

Maeve Sherlock, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:

“Nothing can justify an immigration policy that involves locking up children. All the research has shown how incredibly damaging it is for children who may already have experienced serious trauma.

“There are alternatives which have been successful in other countries. It is time to end this inhumane practice.”

Sarah Cutler, policy director of Bail for Immigration Detainees, said:

“This campaign has shown that there is public and parliamentary support for ending detention of children. We urge the government to act and to stop treating these children like criminals.”

Colette Marshall, UK Director of Save the Children, said:

“Detention is a stressful and confusing environment for children which has huge physical and psychological implications. The UK Government cannot defend a policy that has such a damaging effect on children when viable alternatives exist. These children have done nothing wrong; the Home Office cannot justify locking them up.”


Notes to editor

1. The postcards will be delivered to the Home Office, 2 Marsham Street,
London SW1P 4DF, at 2.30pm on Monday 18 September.

2. All three organisations, Refugee Council, BID and Save the Children, will be present, and spokespeople will be available for interviews.

3. The campaign was launched in March 2006, and over 150 MPs from all the major political parties have signed a motion to declare their support. Further details and case studies can be found at www.noplaceforachild.org.uk