Immigrant children still being detained, figures show

Refugee & Iron Wire Fencesource: The Independent
published: 8 January 2015

More than 600 children, the majority under 12 years old, have been put in detention under immigration rules in the four years since the Government claimed to have ended the controversial practice.

A new analysis of Home Office statistics by The Independent also reveals that the number of children being held increased from 127 in 2011 to 228 in 2013 – an 80 per cent rise. This is despite Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg stating in December 2010: “We are ending the shameful practice that last year alone saw over 1,000 children – 1,000 innocent children – imprisoned.”

At the time he promised child detention would be stopped except as an “absolutely last resort, involving what we predict will be a tiny number of cases… immediately prior to [the children] leaving the country.”

But since he made that pledge, official figures indicate that 661 under-18s – most of them from families seeking asylum – have been detained.

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