Action on children in detention centres

The government is to announce measures on the detention of the
children of asylum seekers, Home Office minister Beverley Hughes
revealed this week.

Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, has voiced fears over
the detention of children in centres such as Dungavel immigration
removal centre, and Community Care‘s Right to Refuge
campaign demands an end to the detention of asylum-seeking

Giving evidence to the home affairs select committee’s inquiry into
asylum applications, Hughes said she understood the concerns and
took the issue “very seriously”.

She said she had been working with officials to draw up the package
of measures to deal with issues that have been discussed, including
the education of children and whether their experience of detention
could be normalised by excursions out of the centre with

Hughes also defended section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and
Asylum Act 2002 to the committee, although she admitted “it is a
tough policy”. She said the legislation made support from the
National Asylum and Support Service conditional on asylum seekers
claiming as soon as possible, being honest and co-operating with
the authorities.

But she added that all benefits were conditional.

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