Campaign to end detention of refugee and asylum-seeking children

A campaign to urge States to pledge to end the detention of refugee and asylum-seeking children took place during a Ministerial meeting of UN Member States 7 – 8 December. Those involved in the campaign includes 50 NGOs including ECRE Members, national Amnesty International sections and IDC Members in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Poland.

Unsurprisingly, the UK government does not support the campaign.

All those that do firmly believe that children, and in particular unaccompanied or separated children, should never be detained solely for immigration purposes given that immigration detention cannot be said to be in their best interests.

The campaign continues.

Lindholme Immigration Removal Centre Closure

Lindholme IRC, located approximately 10 miles north of Doncaster, is part of Lindholme Prison and is run by the Prison Service. The UK Border Agency leased the centre in 2000 in order to detain adult males over the age of 21. Following a request by the Prison Service for the UK Border Agency return Lindholme IRC back to them a managed reduction in the numbers of detainees will take place during a wind-down of the centre. The aim is to close the centre by 31 January 2012.

Detainees will not be released, but will instead be transferred to other centres.

Campsfield Detention Centre Suicide

According to fell detainees, a man who was about to be deported has killed himself at Campsfield House. The 35 year old hanged himself in a toilet block hours before he was due to be forcibly removed. The Home Office confirmed that a 35-year-old man had died stating:

"The UK Border Agency is in the process of contacting his family and our sympathies are with them at this time. The police and prisons and probation ombudsman are investigating the matter, as is the norm, and we are cooperating fully with their investigations."

Campsfield House holds 200 asylum seekers and foreign prisoners and was the scene for protests in the past over conditions and the length of detention and method used to force returns. These are ongoing concerns for all detention centres and it is unfortunately not the first time that a detainee has committed suicide or suffered due to the method of forced removals which often involves dangerous and inappropriate techniques. Changes are long overdue.

A Medical Justice: fast track deportation illegal

A challenge to 'no notice' removal by the Medical Justice was successful. The High Court found removing individuals without prior notice is unlawful. The judge added... Read More...

Greece: Asylum Process

As of 3 November 2010 Sweden will cease the transfer of asylum seekers to Greece, under the Dublin Regulation. Dan Eliasson, Director General of the Swedish Migration Board, explained “the situation in Greece is gradually deteriorating, also for asylum seekers from Sweden”. Read More...

Iraq

The Netherlands will stop deporting Iraqis - Dutch Minister for Immigration and Asylum Gerd Leers announced that the Netherlands will stop deportation of Iraqis to their home country. Read More...