Saturday, 9 January 2010

End the detention of asylum seeking children

The Sauce has a good campaigning article on how asylum seeking children in this country are treated. I've signed the online petition and recommend you do likewise - it takes a couple of minutes. There's very little like this in the mainstream media, dominated as it is by anti-immigrant rhetoric and scare stories.

'During the first six months of this year a total of 470 children were being held in detention centres in the UK, with over 70 percent seeking asylum from countries like Zimbabwe, Somalia, Sudan and Sri Lanka.

In February this year one family was awarded £150,000 after the government admitted they were detained unlawfully and one of the children had suffered post traumatic stress disorder as a result.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson now has a statutory duty of care for children held in detention by UKBA immigration officials.

The announcement of the new responsibilities for the Home Office in November this year follows the publication of a damning independent report exposing the appalling impact of detention.'

Read more HERE.

The Sauce has a new follow up story to this article HERE.


  1. It's a similar situation here in Australia. Things were particularly bad a few years ago under the Howard Liberal government, when children in these centres were exposed to suicide attempts by older asylum seekers in the centres and to fights and other forms of violence. The government wouldn't allow them to receive toys brought in by visitors, and rejected pleas to let school-age children out during the day to attend local schools. So of course most of them developed PTST, depression etc. and required psychiatric treatment (when that was eventually granted). The current Labor government promised to improve things, but I think that just means that they don't keep the children and mothers detained for quite as long. And you don't need to be a mental health expert to predict that these children (and their parents, probably) will have psychological problems for many years to come.

  2. Thanks - it's useful (if predictably depressing) to know what's happening with asylum seeker children in Australia. I recall previous stories about the Howard government's treatment of asylum seekers. It's appalling to consider the often long-term damage to mental health brought by inhumane treatment.