Wednesday, 24 April 2013

What happens to the children of immigration detainees?

The charity BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees) reports that it has found that “(t)he UK Border Agency (UKBA) repeatedly failed to safeguard children when detaining their parents, with appalling consequences for the children concerned”. 

The parents in the study were detained without time limit, for an average of 270 days. In 92 out of 111 cases, they were eventually released. The charity concludes that their detention  apparently served no purpose. 

Meanwhile some of the children lost weight, had nightmares, suffered from insomnia, cried frequently and became extremely isolated. Some children were reported to have moved between unstable care arrangements. The charity argues that some of the children were neglected and placed at risk of serious harm.

A spokesperson for BID said:

“Children … described their despair and misery at not knowing if or when they would see their parents again.”

“The Border Agency displayed a callous indifference in continuing to detain parents, in some cases despite having clear evidence that children were in wholly unsuitable care arrangements.”

This research is extremely worrying. UKBA has some questions to answer.