LibDem Leader Nick Clegg tells PM: stop the scandal of children behind bars this Christmas.

Open letter to Gordon BrownNick_Clegg_1

Nick Clegg 15/12/09

Dear Gordon,

I am writing to urge you to stop the scandal of hundreds of very young children, including toddlers, spending this Christmas locked up behind bars in Immigration Centres in Britain.

One of the best ways to judge the moral compass of a nation is how we treat children – all children.
There is now concrete evidence that the very young children who find themselves locked up even though they’ve done nothing wrong are suffering weight loss, post traumatic stress disorder and long lasting mental distress.
How on earth can your Government justify what is in effect state sponsored cruelty?

Of course we must keep track of adults who are seeking asylum in this country, and deport them where justified. But this can be done through other means.
It is simply indefensible to do so at the cost of the mental and physical wellbeing of very young children.

I would also ask you to lift the paranoid Government secrecy which surrounds the work of the Immigration Centres. Your Government has consistently refused to provide total figures of the number of children detained.
This attempt to cover up such a morally reprehensible practice only makes matters worse.

The British people want us to take a world lead in the way we treat toddlers and children, not to inflict systematic cruelty on them behind a veil of Government secrecy.

I look forward to your urgent reply.

Yours

Nick

Read the full Daily Mail story by Jason Groves  here

2 thoughts on “LibDem Leader Nick Clegg tells PM: stop the scandal of children behind bars this Christmas.”

  1. I have always been a labour voter but totally agree with Nick Clegg on this matter. It does not matter whether the child is a baby or a 16 year old – a child is a child; ask any parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent Phil Woolas is being disingenuous when he says that the only alternative is to take these children from their parents and place them in the care of social services. I am a Deputy Headteacher in a secondary school and the rule of thumb is that the child’s welfare always takes precedance. The priority is the child and in the interest of the child’s wellbeing, parents should not be locked up either. While it might be possible for single young men and women to ‘disappear’ in the system, it is extremely difficult for a family with children to do so. Children have to be educated and they need medical care – families can’t just disappear. It is therefore completely unnecessary to lock them up! Is it an example of institutional racism when “Every Child Matters” except at Yarlswood?

  2. Thanks for your comment Fleur. We entirely agree. Many thousands of traditional Labour voters like you must be asking if they can continue to vote for a party that so blatantly denies the principles of ‘every child matters’. I hope you will share your concerns with your prospective parliamentary candidate as we will be urging all ECDN supporters to do during the election campaign.

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