Review into ending the detention of children for immigration purposes closes 1 July

The headline pretty much says it all: as promised in the coalition document, the government is moving towards ending the detention of children for immigration purposes.

As a result, the UK Border Agency is running a consultation, which closes on 1 July. You can find out more and submit your views via the UKBA website. Although the political commitment is clear, there are plenty of details still to be worked out, as the review document explains. So if it is an area you have some knowledge of, make sure you submit your views by 1 July.

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  • Paul McKeown 24th Jun '10 - 3:46pm

    If this is true: , then I’m annoyed. Theresa May’s first misstep. At least the 28 day period of detention without charge is to be renewed for a period of six months only, but nevertheless there is no justification for it in the first place.

    David Davis, as usual, is to be praised for upholding decent British liberal (small ‘l’) values and standing up for the rights of habeus corpus and the right to defend oneself against known charges and evidence in a trial before a jury of ones peers:

    Whilst it is welcome that she is having this review of Labour’s heavy-handed legislation, and whilst it is at least welcome that this is a six month rather than one year review, it is wholly unnecessary to extend further. There have been no cases in the last four years where it has been necessary to go beyond 21 days. Even the Heathrow plot, where innocent people were held for 28 days, it has now been proven that those that were charged after this lengthy period could have been charged in less than 14 days.

    This extension is therefore unnecessary and regrettable. It is to be hoped that after the 6 months review we will see an end not just to this unnecessarily authoritarian law, but also to control orders and their regime of house arrest, internal exile, and secret courts, all of which are an anathema of British standards of justice.

    Sadly, it would appear that Theresa May, who did oppose 90 days detention without trial when presented to parliament by the last government, is not sufficiently convinced of the rights of the individual against arbitrary detention by the Crown.

    Surely this is an issue to unite MPs around the flag of Liberal Democracy, regardless of whatever economic arguments are raging? I urge the Liberal Democratic party in parliament to let its displeasure over this be heard. They should seek Tory support, which is likely to be considerable, in voicing their displeasure.

    I have to declare myself to have a very cynical view regarding the timing of this announcement during the all the furore over the budget and the discreet way in which the announcement would appear to have been made.

  • Malcolm Todd 25th Jun '10 - 10:31am

    I am concerned that this practice is merely being “reviewed”, with the implication that the detention of children may not be ended, and quickly. The coalition agreement states categorically (section 17) “We will end the detention of children for immigration purposes.”

    There have been several reviews of this practice, and of the harm it causes. See this report by Bail for Immigration Detainees 18 months ago.

    I urge UKBA to recommend the immediate cessation of detention of children. Reasonable and humane alternatives to such detention can be reviewed and implemented thereafter with as much despatch as the agency can accomplish. The risk, such as it is, of a small number of absconsions in the interim does not justify extending by a single day the harm being done to children by the current policy.

    I have emailed the UKBA consultation team and Nick Clegg to this effect and would encourage others to do so.

  • Malcolm Todd 25th Jun '10 - 10:37am

    Obviously, there’s a stop-bold missing somewhere from there. (Sheesh.)


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