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Ban on child detention now enshrined in law

August 3, 2014 7:00 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have gone further in safeguarding children from being detained for immigration purposes, ensuring that no future government can ever do it again.

Prior to 2010, thousands of children were being detained in prison-like conditions. During Labour's last 5 years in government, over 7,000 innocent children were held in adult detention centres, sometimes for weeks and months at a time.

Ending this injustice was a major priority for the Lib Dems coming into the Coalition Government and we quickly acted to deliver this. While child detention ended over two years ago, the policy could have been reversed with a sweep of a pen by Labour or Tories. That's why we made sure it became a new law in the Immigration Act.


Commenting on the end of child detention, Nick Clegg said:

"It should come as no surprise that I'm a believer in the benefits of a well-managed immigration system. I lead, in my view, Britain's only real internationalist party. For the Liberal Democrats this nation is always at its best when we are open and outward-facing. Our brand of patriotism draws immense pride from living in a country which, throughout its history, has always said: if you come here, if you contribute, if you play your part, Britain will give you a chance.

"We don't meet every visitor with automatic suspicion. We believe everyone, no matter where they come from, should be treated with respect.

"It wasn't the Liberal Democrats, for example, who arranged for vans emblazoned with the words 'Go Home' to prowl around the streets of North London. Had Jeremy Browne - the Liberal Democrat in the Home Office at the time - been consulted on thiswe would have put a stop to it then and there.

"It was the Liberal Democrats, by contrast, who insisted that the Coalition's Immigration Act include the outlawing of child detention: no more putting children stuck in the immigration system behind bars. Labour locked up thousands and thousands of little boys and girls every year. We stopped it as soon as we came into power. We'll leave this Government knowing that no future Labour government - or indeed any government - will be able to do it again."

As part of the new reforms to Britain's immigration system, Nick has also announced a crack down on sham marriages and employers hiring migrants for less than the minimum wage.