Decision to end child detention leads to fears of early removal amidst migrants

On an average nearly 2000 children in the UK are detained annually
19th August 2010: The government’s decision to put an end to the detention of children has led to apprehensions of early deportation amidst migrants. Image

The decision has also led to criticism of sorts for the powers that be, as it is believed the UK government is simply solving its problem by creating a problem for another government.

On an average approximately 2000 children in the UK are detained annually for the purposes of immigration control.

Since October last removal directions have been issue to more than 2,500 under-18s. The Home Office figures suggest more than 600 of them were issued the directions in the previous three months.

Subjected to immigration control, they are detained on exactly the same basis as adults.
One of the arguments against the detention of children was the adverse psychological effects it has on the children. It is believed that detained children find it tough to comprehend why they are being held back in a ‘prison’, when they have done nothing wrong.

But it is also being asserted that unplanned and slapdash removals have the same psychological effect on children; and both the parents and children may eventually find themselves destitute in their native land.

Concerns are being raised that the proposed ending of child detention at centres such as Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire will eventually result in more children being deported. This would also reduce the chances for making last minute appeals.

The UKBA’s pilot scheme launched in Manchester is already putting to test fast-track schemes for deporting failed migrants within a fortnight of their asylum claim being rejected.

It is now clear that shift from detention policy to direct deportation would only encourage community campaigns against deportation. Calls can now be heard for finding viable alternatives.

As of now, the UK Border Agency has already taken in suggestions on the issue. Immigration Minister Damian Green has also made it clear: ‘We are determined to replace the current process with something more humane without compromising our need to remove people who have no right to be in this country.

‘It is important that we work together to reach a practical alternative to keeping children in detention…. I am keen to hear all views….”

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