Saturday, 7 January 2012

Abuse by the state

The Guardian reports on the Ay family's court case win against the British Government. It is said that a a six figure sum will be paid to the family in compensation.

This Kurdish family was detained under the UK's immigration laws in 2002 and the mother and her four children were kept in a single room in an immigration detention centre for 13 months. Not surprisingly the children sufferred trauma resulting in long-term ill-effects, apparently of such magnitude that they required specialist medical treatment when they were eventually removed to Germany, the country where they had originally claimed asylum.

Although the UK's immigration policies have now been changed to prohibit keeping children in detention for long periods, the story of this family clearly illustrates how the state can emotionally abuse children and cause them to suffer significant harm. In my view it is unacceptable to detain asylum seeking children even for short periods.