Penny Nicholls, Director for Children and Young People at The Children's Society and Sarah Campbell, Research and Policy Manager for Bail for Immigration Detainees said:
“This report is further evidence that the inhumane practice of detaining children for immigration purposes is detrimental to their mental and physical wellbeing. These new statistics provide a shocking and timely reminder of the damage faced by innocent children who are being locked up.
The Government announced in their coalition agreement that they would end the immigration detention of children and we are hugely supportive of this commitment. We eagerly await Immigration Minister Damian Green's formal announcement of a change in policy.
Over the last two years, BID and The Children’s Society have worked with a number of children in detention who were in extreme distress following their incarceration. In some cases these children were receiving medical treatment which was disrupted by detention; in others we sought to refer children for psychiatric assessments because of concerns about the impact detention was having on their mental health. We strongly urge the Home Office to make an announcement that this inhumane practice will be ended."