"‘State Sponsored Cruelty’: Children in immigration detention”


state sponsored cruelty, report cover

  • Dossier of medical evidence backs Clegg’s claim: child detention is ‘state sponsored cruelty’
  • UK Borders Agency defy Clegg and continue immigration detention of children

Nick Clegg branded the immigration detention of children as ‘state sponsored cruelty’.

  • On 21st July 2010 Nick Clegg said that Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre would close
  • The next day the UK Borders Agency confirmed that Yarl’s Wood would close for the detention of children
  • Despite Nick Clegg’s announcement, UKBA have detained children at Yarl’s Wood as recently as Monday.

Medical Justice has published the report “‘State Sponsored Cruelty’: Children in immigration detention”, presenting the key findings from the UK’s first large scale investigation into the harms caused by detaining children for immigration purposes.

“The fact that UKBA is still detaining children at Yarl’s Wood despite announcements to the contrary raises serious questions about the consistency between the will of government and the actions of UKBA. The government must now show it is in control of UKBA. It must order and ensure the release of any detained children today and stop what the Deputy Prime Minister correctly refers to as ‘state sponsored cruelty’. The dossier of evidence we are publishing brings to light the extent to which detaining children cases harm, suffering, and anguish. Children have attempted to end their own lives, and have been left seriously physically and psychologically damaged ”. Jon Burnett, Medical Justice, author of “‘State Sponsored Cruelty’: Children in immigration detention”

“It makes one wonder if Nick Clegg actually knows that his civil servants have been locking children up in Yarl’s Wood. The government needs to get a grip on UKBA. New schemes supposedly aimed at avoiding detention seem to not actually exclude detention. There is no operational guidance documentation for the new schemes and it seems that UKBA are just making it up as they go along, culminating in children being imprisoned.” Emma Ginn, Medical Justice

Download the report (pdf)