I was pleased to see reported in the Crawley and Horley Observer what seems to be a continued decrease in the number of children being detained at London’s Gatwick Airport.
I was also pleased to read in the same article that the Children’s Society, while welcoming the drop in numbers, continues to express concern about border detentions of children and to draw attention to occasions when the UK Border Agency (UKBA) falls short of the required standards.
Sadly there continue to be cases when children, requiring protection and welfare services, are held, albeit for a short time, in accommodation that is also used to hold adult immigration offenders. That is unacceptable.
Under no circumstances is it justifiable to treat trafficked children as if they are criminals. Not until that practice is completely eradicated at the UK border, can UKBA managers claim to be fulfilling the agency’s statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.