17 December 2010

Yarl’s Wood UK immigration centre will no longer detain children

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Children will no longer be detained at Yarl's Wood immigration centre, the UK Government has announced.

UK immigration

Children will no longer be detained at Yarl's Wood UK immigration centre.

The UK Immigration centre will close to children with immediate effect following a review of the detention of children and family returns by the government working with key partners.

This week the UK Government released a new, compassionate approach to family removals, following a wide-reaching review and consultation.

The UK Border Agency will now follow a new 4-stage process that aims to  ensure a family's return home is safe and dignified.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Today marks an enormous culture shift within our immigration system”.

“We are placing the welfare of children and families at the centre of a fairer and more compassionate system.'In recent years we have seen hundreds of children, who have committed no crime, locked up in detention centres. Today we show how we will ensure it never happens again."

Immigration Minister Damian Green said there is a fine balance between taking a compassionate approach to family removals, and ensuring individuals with no legal right to be in the UK cannot prolong their stay and break the rules.

“I believe our new measures are both humane and fair. We are providing assistance packages, and family conferences to ensure families understand their options, and will be trying to ensure that they can remain in the community prior to their departure home. We are also creating a new independent family returns panel to ensure that the welfare of children is considered and properly factored into return plans where enforcement action is necessary,” he said. 

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