In response to Nick Clegg's Comment article in the Guardian, We are proud of having ended child detention, 20 October 2012
Liberal Democrat MPs keep claiming they have ended the immigration detention of children. This is simply not true: 84 children have been detained in the new immigration detention facility for children that the government has opened. It is run by G4S and Barnardo's.
Nick Clegg describes the place as a "decent stopping off point" and that families are "accommodated" there. Families are, in fact, detained there, which is why it is inspected by HM Inspector of Prisons.
The inspectorate reported last week that force had been used on children, that six families at the new detention facility had been detained twice, and one three times. It revealed that a pregnant woman in a wheelchair was tipped up and had her feet held by G4S staff, noting that the risk of injury to the unborn child was significant.
The NSPCC has said: "Locking up children like this is wrong and unacceptable. Better-quality detention is still detention, however dressed up." In opposition, Nick Clegg branded the immigration detention of children as "state-sponsored cruelty", promising to end it. David Cameron declared that his government would "end the incarceration of children for immigration purposes once and for all". They can and they should – today.
Co-ordinator, Medical Justice
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 22:30