No Place For Children

27 09 2008

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The New Statesman is running a “No Place For Children” campaign, with several of the largest Children’s support agencies. The campaign is to help bring to an end, the UK’s policy of detaining babies and children in detention centres.
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Babies in particular, suffer from the lack of facilities and care in places such as Yarl’s Wood. Whilst the UK Government continues to claim that all detainees are detained appropriately (how come so many are then released back into the UK community then?) and that the highest standard of care is applied (including not feeding a hungry baby as they’d run out of prescription formula), the detainees themselves tell a different story. As do the visitors to the compounds.
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The New Statesman has been running the campaign for several weeks, and has built up a database of reports and articles, some of them written by the detained children themselves. It’s a powerful and moving set of testimonies, and worthy of your time.
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They’ve also included visitor testimony, including a filmed segment of my own report on visiting Janipher Maseko, separated for over two weeks from her two week old son, who was exclusively breastfeeding.
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They have also opened an online petition so you can add your name to this call, to stop locking up babies, infants and children in compounds. You need to have a UK postcode to sign. Sign up here.
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Such efforts are worth while. The pressure brought to bear on the UK Government on their appalling human rights treatment of detained children, has resulted in them finally ‘signing’ detained children in the full human rights package that they had previously been excluded from.
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The Black Women’s Rape Action Project, continues to be a mainstay of support for all the mothers and children locked up in the detention centres. They work as volunteers, and scrape by on whatever funding they can raise. If you want to help the children in places like Yarl’s Wood in a more practical way, send BWRAP a fiver after you sign the petition. You’ll be helping to keep their phone bill paid, so they can call back the mothers in Yarl’s Wood who need help there and then. You can donate online here.
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You can also spread the word: this petition needs signing! 🙂
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