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Every month, I receive the immigration statistics from the Home Office and am repeatedly drawn to the statistics on children detained under Immigration Act powers in immigration removal centres (IRC) such as Tinsley House a facility located on the perimeter road facing the main runway of Gatwick Airport.
These children are not in accommodation geared up for families. Some are detained in locations that originally were built to the same specification as Category B prison; cells as bedrooms and concrete yards as gardens are not environments for children.
I am reminded of the illustrations drawn by children who had experienced life in an immigration removal centre (Burnett, 2010).
The Coalition government had pledged to bring an end to the detention of children for immigration purposes back in May 2010 but clearly this has not been treated with any degree of priority.
How much longer will this continue?
Burnett, J. (2010) ‘Repatriation medicine’ Criminal Justice Matters. 82. December. pp. 26-28.
Home Office (2012) Immigration Statistics July – September. [Online]. Available at < http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/immigration-q3-2012/> [accessed 29 November 2012].