Child detention discussed at our conference

The thought of a child being detained is heartbreaking for any parent

Bel'ka, one of our refugee bloggers, writes about our annual conference and the need to end child detention.

The Scottish Refugee Council conference on Friday 29 October was a memorable day for people like asylum seekers and refugees, and they will never forget it. The legendary Hampden Park hosted a diversity of opinions about the new coalition government’s asylum review.

As human beings, going around the world, looking for refuge, peace of mind and protection – these vulnerable people don’t nowadays feel really accepted sometimes. The complicated, stressful and rigid immigration policy in place doesn’t facilitate the procedure of being granted refugee status.

This conference brings hope among asylum seekers and refugees because there are some charitable organisations who are willing to fight and restore hope to the asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland.

Nico Juetten, who is Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, gave an interesting speech about campaigning for the safeguarding of children and young people’s human rights.

Around the world, children and young people are victims of exploitation, as soldiers, and under-age employees. Some have landed in Scotland to seek protection as asylum seekers. These children, in accordance with their human rights, need to be offered fair treatment.

In his speech, Nico emphasized the detention of children. He hopes this practice will be ended soon as promised by the coalition government, and children will no longer be jailed for immigration purposes because it’s against their human rights in accordance with UN conventions. The detention of children has left them with depression and trauma and these psychological conditions will remain with them all lifelong.

As a parent myself, to hear of any child put in a detention centre for immigration purposes makes me heart-broken. The UK Border Agency do seem to spend a lot of time on long and complicated immigration processes, trying to avoid or delay granting refugee status to children, sometimes putting the child in detention.

But after the review case, if the same child is granted refugee status, how much money has been spent, how much damage has such a child faced emotionally and psychologically? And what is going to be the consequence for his future?

Watch a short film clip of Nico answering the question, 'How would you feel if after the review, children continue to be detianed?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-97-IBVGHE

 

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