Families in to be free to move around; support for children 10th March 2011: Families of failed asylum seekers held in new centres will be free to move around the site. The security will be minimalist and the centres will not have an institutional feel.
Besides this, children’s charity Barnardo’s is all set to come to the rescue of children of such failed asylum seekers held in the new centres for up to a week before being removed from the UK.
The government said the little ones will be able to turn for support to Barnardo’s, during their stay in new centres.
In fact, the Home Office said the children’s charity will provide help and support to families in the centres, as they pack up to return, the Home Office said.
It also clarified that children under normal circumstances be kept in the centres for up to 72 hours before to their scheduled departure. But their stays could go up to "a week as a maximum". In the meantime, Barnardo’s will make available critical support for the families gearing up for taking off.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said it was crucial that the welfare of children remains an absolute priority during the returns process and the use of this new accommodation will be a last resort. It would, however, have an entirely different look and feel to an immigration removal centre with a high degree of privacy for each family."
Green said he believed their new approach was both fair and humane. They were providing assistance packages and family conferences to ensure families understand their options, and would be trying to ensure that families could remain in the community prior to their departure home.
A High Court ruling on the detention of children has already made it clear that families with children cannot be detained for removal, until there are exceptional circumstances.
The verdict, pronounced in January this year, is being interpreted to mean regardless of political decisions, detention of families with children would take place only when exceptional circumstances exist.
In fact, it was being taken to mean that the families with children would be detained only when no other alternative exists.