8 Feb 2010

The Children's Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees have commented on the news that a group of mothers detained at an immigration centre have gone on hunger strike in protest at being separated from their children:

Lisa Nandy, policy adviser at The Children’s Society, and Celia Clarke, director of Bail for Immigration Detainees, said:

“We are very concerned about the reports we have received from detainees in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre that there has been a disturbance which has resulted in the police being called. We understand that a number of women are protesting against their enforced separation from their children and are extremely distressed.

“We urge the UK Border Agency to ensure the safety of all the women involved in this protest. We share their concerns about the impact of separating a child from their mother.

”The Children’s Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees do not believe children or their families should ever be detained for immigration purposes, and we hope the Government will put children's welfare first and reverse their policy of detention without time limit.”

Ends

For more information, please contact Rafi Cooper, The Children's Society, tel: 020 7841 4422. email: rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk

Notes to editors:

Outcry! campaign
The Children’s Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees are currently campaigning to end the immigration detention of children and their families. Funded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, we are campaigning together under the banner OutCry!. Visit: www.outcrycampaign.org.uk

The Children’s Society
The Children's Society is a leading children's charity committed to making childhood better for all children in the UK. Visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk

Bail for Immigration Detainees
Bail for Immigration Detainees is a human rights charity challenging immigration detention in the UK. It provides free legal advice to detained asylum seekers and migrants to help them secure their release and it campaigns to end arbitrary detention. Visit www.biduk.org

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund continues the Princess’ humanitarian work in the UK and overseas. By giving grants to organisations, championing charitable causes, advocacy, campaigning and awareness raising, the Fund works to secure sustainable improvements in the lives of the most vulnerable people in the UK and around the world. Visit www.theworkcontinues.com