Border Agency criticised for separating children from parents

Date: 24th April 2013
Category: Civil Rights and Freedoms

The United Kingdom's Border Agency separated 200 children from their parents between 2009 and 2012, which caused them adverse effects such as emotional distress, nightmares, insomnia, weight loss and feelings of "extreme isolation".

A new study by the organisation Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) has found that the majority of the children stayed with another family member or guardian, but 85 were taken into care when a single parent was detained, with some "moved between unstable care arrangements, neglected, and placed at risk of serious harm." The 111 parents involved were held in detention for an average of 270 days, and in 15 cases were later deported or removed from the UK without their children.

In response to its findings, BID said the Government should stop separating families through immigration detention, and in the meantime introduce a time limit for how long families can be separated for.