24 Mar 2010

Camilla Engeset, Policy Officer at The Children's Society, and Addie Trude, Research and Policy Manager at Bail for Immigration Detainees, comment:

“The Children's Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees welcome Anne Owers’ report into Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Our experience of working with children and families in detention at Yarl’s Wood strongly supports Owers’ assertion that ‘detention adversely affected children’s welfare’. There is no legitimate reason for the physical and mental health issues that are inflicted upon children at Yarl’s Wood.

“We are especially concerned about Owers’ observation of ‘the use of force on, or in the presence of, children’. The Children's Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees strongly believe that this is no way for a country to treat children who have not committed a crime.

“It is shameful that the average length of stay has increased by 50% since the last inspection. Sixty-eight children had been detained for over a month. This cruel and inhumane practice must be brought to a swift end.”

For more information, contact Rafi Cooper at The Children's Society’s media office on 020 7841 4422, or Rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk.