On MOP’s and locking up innocent children

My thirteen year old daughter asked me today what MP stood for and when I told her she said – should it not be MOP then?  Fair comment says I.  So from now on, I will refer to MP’s as Mops, not MP’s.  But only the rubbish MP’s, such as the ones who take the generosity of the public for granted.    Or those who think that the detention of children was a necessity if their parents were refusing to return home.  And let’s not forget the ones who think that torture is not torture.

But about those detentions!  Lordy me!  Why the hell is it necessary to lock up innocent kids because they belong to failed asylum seeker parents?  Ok, it’s totally unacceptable that they should be separated from their parents but can no-one come up with a more humane and compassionate solution? And someone please tell me why it’s necessary for aggressive officials from our very own UK Border Agency to burst into their homes in the middle of the night, drag them out of their warm beds without giving them any time to pack up belongings, favourite toys etc. or say goodbye to their friends, then force them into caged vans that reek of urine and taken on a long journey without toilet breaks, to be finally placed in a strange detention centre with locked doors and woefully inadequate health and mental welfare provisions?

Specifically, Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.  Look at how they present the centre on their website.  Looks all cosy and safe doesn’t it.  Well don’t be deceived because according to a report by Sir Al Aynsley-Green,  it’s been likened to being in prison.  Detaining children in these circumstances is supposed to be a last resort but the report finds that not only is the decision to detain not being made as a last resort but that the children are not being detained for the shortest period of time, both of which violate the requirements made in the UNCRC.

These are children for god’s sake!  It’s more than cruel.  It’s totally de-humanising and we shouldn’t allow it.

Children who have committed no crime should not and do not need to be locked up. It may be administratively convenient for the Home Office to do so, but it is as unnecessary as it is shameful. Parliament has long expressed reservations for terror suspects to be held without charge, yet up to 2,000 children are detained in a prison-like environment for immigration purposes each year. Martin Narey, chief executive Barnardo’s.


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