Monday, 18 January 2010

Did Meg Hillier mislead parliament?

That's the allegation being made by a story in Open Democracy called Roll calls, body searches and sex games.

Clare Sambrook of End Child Detention Now, says that Meg Hillier's defence of child detention at Yarl's Wood perpetuated misrepresentations and created new ones:

"When Home Office minister Meg Hillier, stood up in the House on Monday 14 December to defend the detention of children, she repeated one of Wood’s inaccuracies –

"Let me point out that the report in question did not take into account the views of the clinicians who worked with those children and who know them."

– and threw in one all of her own: "There are many pressures on children, and it is not clear that those pressures and problems arise merely from detention."

The evidence is crystal clear. According to the peer-reviewed medical evidence, children experienced "a sudden deterioration in mental health due to the experience of detention rather than any pre-existing problems."

"While the Government misrepresents the evidence, children’s suffering goes on."

At least four children a week who are seeking asylum go missing from the care of local authorities, a BBC investigation has discovered.

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