Alliance slams treatment of asylum seekers and young offenders

Painful restraint techniques were used on children on 768 occasions in secure training centres over the past year, according to figures collected by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England.

The alliance has criticised the government for failing to uphold the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly for young offenders and asylum seekers.

CRAE, a coalition of more than 320 children’s organisations, is calling for an immediate government review of children’s law and policy, in preparation for 2009 when the UK is examined again by the UN committee on the rights of the child.

In October 2002, the UN committee issued the UK with 78 recommendations, to make law, policy and practice compatible with the convention. Significant progress has been made on just 16 of these recommendations in the past year, according to CRAE.
“The government has authorised deliberate violence against children in custody, it has introduced legislation that could separate asylum-seeking children from their parents, and it has directed courts to name and shame children.

“It has still not established a public inquiry into any child death in custody (there have been 29 since 1990) and it has ignored international and national pressure to stop detaining asylum-seeking families,” says Carolyne Willow, CRAE national  co-ordinator.

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