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Royal Colleges call for end to immigration detention of children

Royal Colleges describe the significant harms to the health of children and young people subjected to immigration detention.

The Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Faculty of Public Health have issued a policy statement which describes the significant harms to the physical and mental health of children and young people in the UK who are subjected to administrative immigration detention. It argues that such detention is unacceptable and should cease without delay.

Responding to the policy statement, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the Children's Commissioner for England, said:

"[The] report adds another voice to the growing calls to end the practice of detaining children and young people for immigration purposes. The findings outlined in this policy statement are too grave to ignore. I know that the Government is working towards improving the treatment of children caught up in the immigration system and I welcome the commitments made so far, particularly those to develop community-based alternatives to detention. But I remain deeply concerned with the number of children who are detained for immigration purposes and the length of time which some are held."

The Children’s Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees, who are currently campaigning together under the banner OutCry! to end the immigration detention of children and families, have also issued statements supporting the findings of the Royal Colleges and have called for an end to the immigration detention of children and families without delay.

The policy statement can be read here.

The full comments of the Children's Commissioner for England can be accessed here and the responses of Children's Society and Bail for Immigration Detainess are available here.