Independent Catholic News logo Welcome Visitor
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Church leaders protest over UK's 'shameful incarceration of children'
Comment Email Print
 
Yarl's Wood Detention Centre
Leaders from all the main churches  today have called for the Government to end “the unnecessary and inhumane practice of imprisoning children, babies and young people in immigration removal centres.”

Their letter published in the Daily Telegraph says: “our faith calls us to look particularly to the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.”

Bishop Patrick Lynch, Chairman, Office for Migration Policy, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said in his January Statement: "A migrant’s legal status is quite separate from his or her human dignity. A human being's worth is defined and determined by their God-given  dignity not by the papers they do or do not carry."

The Anglican Archbishop of Wales, Archbishop Barry Morgan said: “It is hard to believe in this day and age and in this country we call civilised that families with young children are taken away from their accommodation and effectively imprisoned in detention centres while their future is decided.”

While Bishop John Packer, Anglican Bishop of Ripon and Leeds said:  “I believe the continued incarceration of children to be a shameful practice for our society.”

The letter follows the Pope’s Message on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees where he said: “I would like to invite all Christians to become aware of the social and pastoral challenges posed by migrant and refugee minors. Jesus' words resound in our hearts: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).”

The letter text follows:
 
Detention of children


SIR – We are writing to express our grave concern at the findings of Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the Children’s Commissioner, on children detained at Yarl’s Wood (report, February 17). We call on the Government to bring an immediate end to the unnecessary and inhumane practice of imprisoning children, babies and young people in immigration removal centres.

We note that the Children’s Commissioner, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Children’s Society and many otherbodies concerned with the wellbeing of children all support an end to child detention because of the appalling effects on children. These include insomnia, bed wetting, weight loss, speech regression, depression and self-harm.

Our faith calls us to look particularly to the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. We therefore urge the Prime Minister to bring Britain in line with other Commonwealth and EU countries, which provide less harmful community-based facilities for families awaiting a decision about their future.
 
The Most Rev Barry Morgan
Archbishop of Wales

The Rt Rev John Packer
Bishop of Ripon and Leeds
Rev David Gamble
President of the Methodist Conference
The Rt Rev Bill Hewitt |
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
The Rt Rev Patrick Lynch
Chairman, Office for Migration Policy, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and
Wales
Rev Inderjit S Bhogal
Former President of the Methodist Conference
Steve Clifford

General Director, Evangelical Alliance
Lt-Col Marion Drew
Secretary for Communications, The Salvation Army
Rev Jonathan Edwards
General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Rev Peter Macdonald
Leader, The Iona Community
Rev John Marsh
Moderator of the General Assembly  of the United Reformed Church
Susan Seymour
Clerk, Meeting for Sufferings, The Religious Society of Friends
Bishop Doyé Agama
Deputy Moderator, Churches Together in England (CTE)
Margaret Swinson
Moderator, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland


The UK Border Agency arrests and detains some 2000 asylum-seeking children every year, although there is no evidence that families with young children abscond.
 
PETITION


In just a few months more than 4,100 people including hundreds of health professionals, lawyers, teachers & social workers, Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster, Bishop James Newcome of Carlisle, dozens of leading writers, plus Emma Thompson and Colin Firth signed a petition calling on the Government to stop detaining children. To add your name, click on:
petitions.number10.gov.uk/NoChildDetention

Share:  Bookmark and Share
Tags: Bishop Patrick Lynch, detention of children


Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: