Hundreds of children detained in immigration centres: report

As many as 470 children entered detention facilities in the first half of 2009

Tags: Sir Al Aynsley-Green, Lisa Nandy, Children’s Society,
31st August 2009: A Home Office report shows hundreds of children are being detained in immigration centres. In all, as many as 470 children have entered detention facilities in the first half of 2009.
As per the available information, a substantial number of detainee children come from troubled areas of Zimbabwe, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is believed approximately a third of detained children had been kept for more than 28 days, indicating authorization by a Government minister.
The statistics also indicate a large number of them had been locked up needlessly. A testimony to this effect is provided by the fact that out of 225 children released in the second quarter of 2009, only 100 were removed from the UK.
Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the Children’s Commissioner for England, told The Guardian: "If they were allowed to stay at the end of their release, why did they have to go through the detention process in the first place?"
The policy adviser at The Children’s Society, Lisa Nandy, said the Home Office has taken a step in the right direction by releasing the statistics as incredibly appropriate data on the number of children entering and leaving immigration detention has until now not been officially released.
Nandy asserted the children had therefore been hidden in an inhumane system which holds them without time limit in prison-like conditions. The statistics do, however, reveal the scandalous extent of the detention of children for immigration purposes, and confirm deep concerns about the way children are being detained.

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