Detention of asylum-seeking children is in breach of the UK’s international human rights obligations and must be stopped, according to a damning parliamentary report published today.
The joint committee on human rights report on the treatment of asylum seekers said the process of detention “does not consider the welfare of the child” and called it “incompatible” with children’s right to liberty.
The group of MPs and Lords also raised concerns over the detention of victims of torture, pregnant woman and those with serious health problems.
They slammed the current asylum system as “poorly administered,” offering inadequate information and advice to ensure that people received the support they were entitled to and leaving them at risk of destitution.
Andrew Dismore MP, chairman of the committee, said: “Innocent children should never be detained – alternatives must be developed. The system of asylum seeker support is a confusing mess, and the policy of enforced destitution must cease. Asylum seekers as a group do not always get the greatest sympathy from society or the media but what we have seen and heard provides very hard evidence of appalling treatment that no human being should suffer.”
The committee made over 60 recommendations including new guidance for local authorities on their duty to provide community care for asylum seekers.