Hillier – detention prevents sale of trafficked kids to failed asylum seekers
Responding to Michael Morpurgo’s film on the detention of children at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, Home Office Minister Meg Hillier gave an astonishing interview in which she stated in response to a question from presenter Jo Coburn:
Let’s be clear, nobody wants to see children detained. Certainly I don’t. But we do have an immigration system and we have rules. And when somebody doesn’t have legal right to stay in the country, we ask them to leave voluntarily, and if they don’t we have to have a way of getting them out of the country.
Now with children being detained I’m faced with a number of options.
One is that we just stop it altogether, uhm but then we would have children, I think, with a very high price on them, because we’d actually be saying say if you have a child you will never be detained to be deported and I think that it would raise the risk of child trafficking and put a very high price on a child, so I’d be very reluctant to go down that route. - Meg Hillier, Home Office Minister with special responsibility for children in detention on the Daily Politics, 19 March 2010.
Leaving aside the fact that the Home Office routinely separates children from their parents and that the reason that many women are currently on hunger strike at Yarl’s Wood despite having committed no offence is because they have been forcibly separated from their children, Hillier’s comment was clearly intended to create the impression in the mind of the audience that either a) destitute single asylum seekers would place orders for small children to be trafficked half way across the world by criminal gangs with forged identity papers (and no doubt matching the false ‘parents’ DNA and blood group or b) they would somehow borrow or adopt children who had already been trafficked into the country (with neatly forged ID documents etc) for as Meg said a ‘high price’ the minute some empty headed government decided to follow the soft-hearted Swedes, Australians and Canadians in not locking up children in detention centres. Because these governments foolishly gave into the pro-children/pro-human rights lobby, as we all know there are containers full of trafficked children just waiting to be delivered to failed asylum seekers for large sums of money in Toronto, Sydney and Stockholm. Please, please, if Meg is too busy praising the care and compassion of those who administer Serco’s £85 million anti-child trafficking repatriation unit would somebody let Interpol know asap?
For more on the surreal world of ‘Mystic’ Meg and the trafficked children read ECDN coordinator Clare Sambrook’s blog on OpenDemocracy.