Section 9 is a question of morality, not law, says the Refugee Council - Refugee Council
January 31, 2006

Section 9 is a question of morality, not law, says the Refugee Council

The first legal challenge to the government’s controversial Section 9 policy—which can split asylum seeker children from their families—was rejected at the High Court this morning (31 January). A mother of three from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo claimed that Section 9 violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but her appeal was turned down on the grounds that it was for Parliament, not the courts, to decide if the policy was desirable.

The court case coincided with the Refugee Council and Refugee Action issuing a joint report which has found that the Section 9 to be ‘inhumane and ineffective.’ Following an unsuccessful attempt of the asylum seeker’s case in the High Court today, Maeve Sherlock, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said:

“The government doesn’t need the courts to inform them that Section 9 is inhumane and ineffective. The Refugee Council re-asserts the findings of our joint report with Refugee Action, that this policy of trying to starve out asylum seekers is not the behaviour of a civilised country.

Encouraging failed asylum seekers to return home, when appropriate, should not involve coercion and the threat of removing children.”


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Notes to Editors

The report, Inhumane and Ineffective – Section 9 In Practice, has been produced in partnership between the Refugee Council and Refugee Action.