Failure to end child detention “bitterly disappointing”

Children’s Legal Centre: “The government is delaying ending this extremely harmful practice” rmj-safe-at-last1.jpg09 November 2010: The Children’s Legal Centre has described as “bitterly disappointing” the announcement that child detention for immigration purposes will now not end until March 2011 at the earliest.

The Children’s Legal Centre works with unaccompanied migrant children and chairs the Refugee Children’s Consortium.

Kamena Dorling, manager of the Migrant Children’s Project at the Children’s Legal Centre said: “This announcement is bitterly disappointing. The coalition government initially promised to end this kind of detention within weeks – it now looks like it will still be taking place almost one year into their leadership.

“The best approach would be to end detention immediately and devote time and careful planning to establishing alternatives which safeguard and protect the best interests of children. But the government is delaying ending this extremely harmful practice.”

The decision to postpone the government’s pledge to end detention of children in immigration removal centres is an embarrassment to the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg who is strongly against child detention.

by Stephen Ogongo

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