18 Jun 2009

Lisa Nandy, Policy Adviser at The Children's Society and Amanda Shah, Assistant Director at Bail for Immigration, comment:

“We are very concerned about the reports we have received from detainees in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre that families have been refusing food and sleeping in the corridors in protest at their treatment.  We have also been told by one detainee that families were forcibly removed from the family wing in front of their children.  We are particularly concerned at the impact this could have on the children in the wing.

“We have asked the UK Border Agency to intervene with some urgency to end this situation and ensure that all families are together, safe, that their needs are met and their concerns are taken seriously. We share the families' concerns about the impact of detention on the wellbeing of children.

”The Children’s Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees do not believe children and 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.”

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!

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