Yesterday, the Home Office published statistics that showed 17 children were held in detention in December 2011, and ten of those were held in the new family detention unit at Cedars.
In response to this news, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“We are concerned to hear that ten children were held in the family detention unit at Cedars last month. Although the numbers of children detained have dropped sine the new family returns process was introduced last year, this is ten children too many. We have consistently asked the government to live up to their promise to end child detention, and despite UKBA’s efforts to improve conditions, we are extremely disappointed that children are still being held. A huge body of evidence shows this is harmful for the welfare of children, and there is no practical reason for children to be detained as part of the asylum process.
“It will be two years in May since the government pledged to stop detaining children, but when will they actually fulfil this once and for all?”