Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The scandal of child detention

I've written previously about the End Child Detention Now campaign and why it is so necessary. The treatment of asylum seeking children by UK authorities is frequently scandalous, a far cry from the myths propagated by the Daily Express and those intent on demonising immigrants. Clare Sambrook, writer and campaigner, has written a new piece published by Open Democracy. It is the story of two brothers from Afghanistan, where their parents were killed. The treatment of the younger boy, since he arrived in this country, has been a disgrace.

Clare Sambrook writes:

There’s a picture on my screen: a small, slight boy who, for legal reasons, we’ll call M. He’s being cuddled by his 17 year old big brother Z. Both boys are smiling. They have been reunited after a long, hard separation.

Back home in war-torn Afghanistan their parents and a sister were killed. Big brother Z was first to come to Britain, traumatised, in November 2008. He has refugee status, studies for his GCSEs at school in Leicester.

This past October little brother M made his way here. Despite M’s size, his vulnerability, his boyish looks, officials said, you’re not 14, you’re an adult.

Instead of being taken into care, M was bounced around between three different adult hostels and a house-share with older men — and refused asylum.

Read the full story HERE.

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