Monday, 1 March 2010

Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg calls for an end to the ‘state sponsored cruelty’ of child detention

Nick Clegg MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats, today came out strongly against the detention of children at a Social Justice Lecture organised by Sanctuary Pledge partners the Salvation Army.

A delegation of leaders from the Sanctuary Pledge campaign went along to the lecture, and asked Mr Clegg to back the Sanctuary Pledge and end the detention of children.

Referring to ‘horrific revelations’ about the treatment of women and children inside Yarl’s Wood detention centre, Mr Clegg expressed his anxiety about those who are imprisoned within the asylum system without committing a crime.

“I think that the asylum system is a source of moral shame. I cannot believe that in a country that prides itself on giving sanctuary to those that need it we are imprisoning thousands of children. This is state sponsored cruelty.”

He drew on “overwhelming evidence” of the negative impact of detention on children, including weight loss and mental trauma. Mr Clegg called on Gordon Brown to “do something really simple and ban the detention of children, which is both morally wrong and wholly unnecessary”.

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