End detention of immigrant families also

Separating children, mothers can have devastating effects

18th May 2010:
Less than a week after the new coalition government called for an early end to the practice of child detention, voices are being heard for ending the detention of families.

Such a move is expected to go a long way in preventing the separation of children from their mothers.

It’s a medically proven fact that detention leads to mental and physical harm. The problem is only worsened by separating them from their mothers as it may lead to life long insecurity, depression and anxiety.

The issue of separating mothers from their children was only recently brought to the fore by women detainees at Yarl’s Wood removal centre. They had gone on a six-week hunger strike against separation from children.

It is estimated that 1.5 million youngsters suffer abuse annually in the United Kingdom, many of them while in care. Separation from the mothers only worsens the problems.

As such, to give the policy of ending detention of children a greater meaning, the government should initiate steps for ending the detention of families, it is largely being felt.

The decision to end detention of children came just over a month after Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ) called for an end to the practice. The statement was made in response to a report released today by Dame Anne Owers, Chief Inspector of Prisons on an unannounced inspection of Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire.

Reacting, RMJ chief executive Caroline Slocock had asserted they were delighted at the decision to end child detention for immigration purposes and applauded the new government for recognising the inhumanity of this practice, which treated children like criminals when they had done no crime.

Slocock said they hoped that this would be implemented immediately and that whatever measures brought in to replace detention would put the welfare and safety of these children first.

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