The number of asylum seeker children being detained in removal
centres has risen sixfold in the past six months, official figures
published this week revealed.
The figures show 60 asylum seeker children were detained in centres
at the end of June. This is double the number detained in March,
and six times that in December 2003, the first time child detention
statistics were published.
More than 16 per cent of children were detained for longer than 14
days. This is well above the time recommended by chief inspector of
prisons Anne Owers, who said children should be detained for “no
more than a matter of days”.
The charity Bail for Immigration Detainees said it had serious
concerns about children’s welfare.
– Asylum Statistics: 2nd Quarter 2004 UK from www.homeoffice.gov.uk