Thursday, 22 June 2006

No Place for a Child - Stop detaining children now, says campaign

More than two thousand children a year are locked up by the UK Government for immigration purposes. Save the Children and others are calling on the Home Secretary Charles Clarke to end this inhumane and unnecessary practice and use viable alternatives that take into account children's welfare.

These children have not committed any crime but are held behind locked doors and high barbed wire fences. Five years ago it was rare for families and children to be detained for immigration purposes.

Now, members of the No Place for a Child coalition have documented detentions lasting anything from 7 to 268 days. Children feel that they are being punished and do not understand why.

Many are left traumatised by the experience with a negative impact on their health, well-being and education. Detention can be particularly traumatic for families who have already fled from conflict and torture in their own country to seek safety in the UK.

You can help by lobbying the Home Secretary and your MP. Encourage others to join the campaign to end the detention of these children. The more postcards and emails that are sent, the greater our chance of success.

The No Place for a Child coalition is made up of Save the Children UK, Refugee Council, Bail for Immigration Detainees and the Scottish and Welsh Refugee Councils.

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