18 February 2010

UK immigration must still improve Yarl’s Wood

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The children’s commissioner for England has said detention at an immigration removal centre is “distressing and harmful” for children and needs to be improved.

The UK immigration detention centre, Yarl's Wood, in Bedfordshire, remains "no place for a child", Sir Al Aynsley-Green said, although conceding that some conditions have improved since 2008.

"I commend [the UK Border Agency] and its staffs for improving conditions at Yarl's Wood over the last year, but further work is still needed to improve arrest procedures and detention conditions to make the experience less distressing for and harmful to children," he said.

Sir Aynsley-Green demanded reviews of welfare and healthcare protection procedures, describing systems to safeguard children, and a lack of paediatric expertise, as "high-risk".

The UK Border Agency has disputed the report's findings.

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