Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Church of England: "end the 'shameful practice' of detaining children of asylum seekers."

This has just popped up on the official CofE website:

Children are detained through no fault of their own. They are often removed from familiar settings in sudden and alarming circumstances leaving behind friends, toys and personal possessions. Detention is a distressing experience. Child detainees experience insomnia, bed wetting, weight loss, speech regression, depression, and are known to self-harm. The children of asylum seekers are a vulnerable group, made more so by this policy which has no regard for their mental health. The experience of detention often evokes the trauma they have experience when flees their country of origin.

With the Children’s Commissioner, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of General Practitioners, the Children Society and many other bodies concerned with the well being of children I believe the continued incarceration of children to be a shameful practice for our society in terms of child welfare and human rights and must stop.

The continued detention of children must stop. I call on the Secretary of State to introduce humane-community based arrangements for children and families which recognise the need to put the welfare of children first, at the earliest opportunity.

from the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, full statement here, representing the 'Urban Bishops Panel' of the CofE.

To be honest it doesn't matter who says it, as long as somebody does.

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