Huppert changes law to end child detention
MP Julian Huppert has ensured that the ending of child detention for immigration purposes will be written into the law after leading a sustained campaign against the practice.
He won support for an amendment to the Immigration Bill to make sure no future government can bring back child detention “through the back door”.
And he has received assurances from Home Secretary Theresa May that the detailed wording of the amendment will be tabled when the legislation goes to the House of Lords for final consideration.
“We campaigned to end child detention at the last election, secured a coalition agreement on this and have now delivered it in government,” said Julian. “We secured the closure of the notorious Yarl’s Wood family unit and changed our way of working with young people so that it is more humane.
“Around 7,000 children were locked up by Labour during its last five years in office, that’s an average of almost four children a day. They were imprisoned in appalling conditions and detention was often for weeks and months – the record being 190 days, for a child never accused of a crime.
“I want to make sure that no future government can bring back this abhorrent practice through the back door. Of course, there are a few special circumstances where children should be accommodated as is our duty of care towards them, for example if they are leaving on a flight the next morning, but this should be an exception not the norm.
“As a nation we can now hold up our head and the law will ensure that children are not detained for immigration purposes in this country.”