Charities called on the Lords this week to block the government’s
plans to withdraw support from asylum-seeking families and
potentially take their children into care.
As Community Care went to press, an amendment removing the
proposals from the Asylum and Immigration (treatment of claimants
etc) Bill was being debated and voted on in the House of
The Refugee Children’s Con-sortium, which includes Barnardo’s and
the Children’s Society, said that if the proposals became law there
would be a repeat of the chaos seen in asylum cases of people from
the EU accession states. The charities also want the government to
stop detaining children under immigration act powers.
An amendment setting up independent assessments of the needs of
detained children is also being debated. Chief inspector of prisons
Anne Owers recommended such assessments in her report on Dungavel
Immigration Removal Centre last year. The charity Bail for
Immigration Detainees said that, despite this, the government
failed to take any “concrete action” so far.