Repeal of Section 9 could increase use of asylum detention

The possible repeal of a government policy which can lead to failed asylum seekers who refuse to leave the UK voluntarily having their children taken into care could lead to more CC Live logo articlefamilies being held in asylum detention.

This was the stark message from Nancy Kelley, head of the International and UK Policy Section at The Refugee Council at Community Care Live in London yesterday.

Kelley said that it was not yet clear if Section 9 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 2004 would be halted but if so the government would be looking at other ways to remove asylum seeker families whose claims had failed which could mean increased use of detention.

The Refugee Council is against the detention of children arguing that it is bad for child development and can lead to mental health problems.

Kelley said that instead she would like to see section 9 replaced with a model where a case worker actively works with the family, from when they make their asylum claim to the point of having to leave the country if necessary.

The worker would aim to meet their health and social care needs, talk to them about returning voluntarily and make plans for if they have to return to their country of origin.

“We would like to see the UK government working with people rather than trying to push them out of the country,” she concluded.

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