Update on ending child immigration detention

The House of Commons Library has produced an update on the detention of children for immigration purposes. You can read the full report below:
Ending child immigration detention
Standard Note: SN/HA/5591
Last updated: 2 January 2013
Author: Melanie Gower
Section Home Affairs Section
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The Coalition Agreement committed the Government to ending immigration detention of children.
Families with children are no longer detained in Immigration Removal Centres before removal from the UK, although they may be held for up to a week in secure "pre-departure accommodation" instead. This accommodation facility, called 'Cedars', opened in August 2011. It can accommodate up to nine families at any time. The charity Barnardo's provides on-site welfare services.
The pre-departure accommodation is part of a new process for managing the removal of families whose applications to stay in the UK have been refused:
• Following a case conference with UKBA staff, families are encouraged to make a voluntary departure.
• Those who do not leave have a removal arranged by the UKBA, but can continue to live in the community in the meantime and self-check-in at the airport.
• The UKBA prepares a tailored 'family return plan' for families who do not cooperate with these processes. The Independent Family Returns Panel considers the plan and may suggest changes. As a last resort, non-compliant families may be accommodated for a few days before removal in the Cedars pre-departure accommodation.
Families and unaccompanied children can still be held in short-term holding facilities at UK ports of entry (or in Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre) pending their admission to or immediate removal from the UK. The Government said that it expected these powers to be used sparingly (for a "few dozen families each year, usually for less than 24 hours"). However figures disclosed suggest that a far greater number of children have been held in these facilities in practice.
Some campaigners argue that the Government's claims to have ended child immigration detention are undermined by the secure nature of the pre-departure accommodation and the of use of short-term holding facilities. On the other hand, the Government says that these 'last resort' measures are necessary for maintaining robust immigration controls, and are preferable to alternatives such as separating children from their parents.
1 Ending child detention: Government action
1.1 The Coalition Agreement commitment
The Coalition Agreement included a commitment to end the detention of children for immigration purposes.[1] Overnight detention of children at Dungavel House Immigration Removal Centre stopped a few days later. [2]
In order to identify suitable alternatives to the detention of children, the Government initiated a "wide-ranging review" in consultation with UKBA stakeholders and relevant experts. [3] The terms of reference for the review are on the UKBA website. [4] The Immigration Minister gave some details about the scope of the review in a Westminster Hall debate on 17 June 2010:
... the UK Border Agency is leading a comprehensive review of present practice on the detention of children. It will look at the actual levels and at how to prevent such detention by improving the current voluntary return process. The review will also consider good practice in other countries, and will look at how a new family removals process can be established that protects the welfare of children and ensures the return of those with no right to remain in the UK. It will come as no surprise to you or to the Chamber, Mr Weir, that in the current climate the review will also have to include value for money as part of its remit. [5]
The review was to be completed by August 2010, and its recommendations were to be implemented between August 2010 and March 2011, but the August deadlines were missed. [6] Details of the new process for enforcing family removals were announced in December 2010.
1.2 The new family removals process and related initiatives
On 16 December 2010 the Deputy Prime Minister announced that the family unit at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre would close with immediate effect. [7] He also confirmed that detention of children at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre would end by no later than 11 May 2011, and set out some details of a "totally new process for families in the immigration system". A Written Ministerial Statement [8] from the Home Office published on the same day gave further details of the new approach, which began to be implemented at the end of February 2011. [9]
Broadly speaking, the new approach aims to encourage refused families to comply with instructions to depart from the UK at an earlier stage, such as by giving them more control over the circumstances of their departure. It is hoped that this will reduce the need for enforced removals.
Firstly, the UKBA is working on wider reforms to asylum processes, which are partly intended to improve the handling of cases involving children, in order to strengthen families' trust in the asylum determination process and ensure that families are treated in accordance with the UK's international obligations and statutory child safety and welfare duties. These initiatives include working with UNHCR to improve the quality of decision-making on asylum claims, testing new arrangements to provide asylum seekers with early access to legal advice, and developing specialist skills for UKBA caseworkers working with families.
In addition, a new approach has been introduced for handling family cases once their asylum application has been refused and appeal rights exhausted. It is intended to enable families to leave the UK in a dignified and controlled manner:
• Firstly, a 'dedicated family return conference' is held for refused asylum seeker families with UKBA staff, in order to explain their options for making a 'voluntary return' to their country of origin, including the financial assistance available through the UKBA's 'assisted voluntary return' schemes.
• If families do not make a voluntary return, their return is arranged by the UKBA (known as a 'required return'). However they are not liable to detention at this stage. Instead, they are given a minimum of two weeks' notice of their departure date (rather than 72 hours' notice as previously), and allowed to make a self-check-in at the airport on the date of departure.
• In the event that the family fails to cooperate, the UKBA develops a plan for enforcing their 'ensured return'. The plan is referred to the Independent Family Returns Panel for consideration. The Panel is a new body comprised of health and child welfare experts as well as government officials. The Panel must consider whether the plan is appropriate, and may advise that changes are made. There is a presumption that the Panel's advice will be accepted.
• Possibilities for enforcing an ensured return include that the family be moved to open accommodation prior to an escorted check-in, and/or that the family be given limited notice of when their removal is scheduled for. As a last resort, if a family fails to cooperate with all other options, they may be accommodated for the 72 hours prior to departure in a new type of secure "pre-departure accommodation" in order to facilitate their removal.
The UKBA's caseworker guidance contains more detailed information on handling family cases. [10]
Another change that the Government has made following its review into the ending of family detention is to slightly amend the sanctions applied against persons who breach the UK's immigration laws.
The Immigration Rules allow for persons who have previously breached UK immigration laws to be banned from re-entering the UK for a certain length of time following their departure from the UK. [11] The length of the ban depends in part on whether the person left the UK at their own expense, or through an assisted voluntary return, or through enforcement action.
In April 2011 the Government changed the Immigration Rules, in order to shorten the re-entry ban for persons who make a voluntary departure from the UK at public expense within six months of their case being finally refused to two years (rather than five years as previously). [12] This is intended to provide a stronger incentive to comply at an earlier stage with a requirement to leave the UK, and to encourage more voluntary returns (which the Government considers are preferable to enforced removals). [13]
2 Controversies with the new approach
The Government's announcement, and particularly the immediate closure of Yarl's Wood family unit, was generally welcomed by the Children's Commissioner and organisations in the children's and refugee sectors.[14] The OutCry! NGO campaign coalition commended the Government "for taking seriously the need to put children's welfare at the centre of the asylum process", but did highlight some concerns about the plans for secure 'pre-departure accommodation'. [15]
2.1 Pre-departure accommodation: detention in all but name?
Cedars, the pre-departure accommodation centre, opened in August 2011. The UKBA website contains practical information about the centre and its operating standards, and explains that the name "stands for the principles staff will work to - compassion, empathy, dignity, approachability, respect and support." [16]
The accommodation is located in a village near Gatwick airport. It has space for up to nine families in self-contained apartments. Each apartment has a kitchen and lounge area, family bathroom and up to three bedrooms (to accommodate up to six people). Families can eat in communal areas or take food from the cafeteria to cook in their own apartments. Facilities within the accommodation centre include children's play areas and exercise facilities, access to the internet, 24 hour healthcare including daily access to a GP and a prayer room.
Families may stay in the accommodation for up to 72 hours before their departure (in 'exceptional cases', this may be extended to one week with authority from a Minister). Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre can be used to accommodate criminal or other 'high-risk' families considered unsuitable for Cedars. [17]
The private contractor G4S provides security and facilities management. The children's charity Barnardos provides on-site welfare. The accommodation is subject to independent inspection by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (who is also responsible for inspecting the short-term holding facilities and Immigration Removal Centres), the Children's Commissioner for England, and an Independent Monitoring Board. [18]
The Government has been keen to emphasise Cedars' differences to an Immigration Removal Centre:
This accommodation will not be an Immigration Removal Centre. It will have a family friendly environment, with an entirely different look and feel. The site will be secure but will respect family privacy and independence. [19]
However, some campaigners argue that Cedars is a detention centre in all but name, pointing out, for example, that the accommodation is surrounded by boundary fences, and that family members cannot enter and leave the accommodation or receive visitors at free will (pre-arranged, supervised trips outside the accommodation may be allowed, subject to risk-assessment; visitors are allowed subject to pre-arrangement). [20]
2.2 The involvement of Barnardo's
The children's charity Barnardo's has attracted criticism for agreeing to provide welfare services in Cedars. Some campaigners believe that its cooperation undermined other NGOs' efforts to end child detention, and question how much influence it will be able to have over the family removal process. [21]
Barnardo's has issued a statement saying that it considers that its involvement with the accommodation fits in with its "core purpose" of "supporting the most vulnerable children in the UK". [22] It has said that it will not be afraid to withdraw its services if it has concerns about shortfalls in policy and practice, and has published a set of "red lines" which inform its involvement with the Cedars accommodation. [23] These include commitments to 'speak out' if any family stays at the Cedars on more than one occasion or for longer than one week due to UKBA error, or if a disproportionate level of force is used on a family travelling to or from the accommodation, or if it has serious concerns about any member of staff's behaviour towards families and children.
In light of the Government's commitment to end child detention, Barnardo's has also insisted that the Government release annual statistics for the number of families returned to their countries of origin. It has said that it will withdraw its services if, after a year (from August 2012), the pre-departure accommodation is used for more than 10% of these families. It expects the figure of families routed through the Cedars accommodation to "fall significantly over time".
However, the Independent Family Returns Panel has called on Barnardo's to reconsider whether its "10% red line" supports the best interests of children and their families. [24] It has found that the Cedars accommodation appears to be effective in helping children and families practically and emotionally prepare for their return, and considers that more families would benefit from a stay at Cedars.
2.3 Continued use of short-term holding facilities: a broken promise?
The Government committed to ending the detention of children in Immigration Removal Centres. It did not intend to end the use of short-term holding facilities for families at UK ports of entry. [25] Families and unaccompanied children continue to be held in these facilities (or in family suites at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre if overnight accommodation is needed) so that UKBA border staff are able to confirm their immigration status in the UK or arrange their immediate return (e.g. if caught trying to enter the country illegally). Detention of families for longer than 24 hours requires authorisation at UKBA Director level. [26] Stays for longer than 72 hours must be authorised by a Minister.
The UKBA stated in December 2010 that these powers would be used sparingly:
This will be short detention, for a few dozen families each year, usually for less than 24 hours and only where logistics or safety makes pre-departure accommodation unworkable. [27]
However, evidence suggests that far greater numbers of children have been held in these facilities.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons inspected the short-term holding facilities at Heathrow Airport Terminals 3 and 4 in March 2011. He found that in the three months to February 2011 174 children has been detained, including 16 unaccompanied minors. The average lengths of detention were 8 hours 20 minutes (Terminal 3) and 9.9 hours (Terminal 4). 24 children had been held for over 18 hours (across both terminals), and the longest periods of detention were just under 24 hours. [28] He also observed a child being detained with his father at Terminal 4 without the necessary authority. The child was signed in as a 'visitor', and consequently, his detention would not have been recorded. [29]
According to figures obtained in a Freedom of Information request made by the Children's Society, 697 children were detained between May and the end of August 2011 across all Greater London and South East ports. Almost a third were unaccompanied children. The Society was unable to obtain information on the length of or reasons for their detention. [30]
In October 2011 the UKBA issued a response to media reports on the use of short-term detention. It argued that:
the number of passengers held is very small compared to the millions that we process and tens of thousands we refuse entry to at the border each year...not doing so would weaken border security ...and, equally, to release unaccompanied children before social workers have arrived to support them would put them at great risk.
The remit of the Independent Family Returns Panel includes considering the overall handling of cases of families refused entry at the UK border and use of short-term detention. It is notified of cases held in the family unit at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre. It has called on the Border Force similarly to provide it with information about the larger number of cases held in non-residential short-term holding facilities. It has inspected some short-term holding facilities, and concluded that they are not suitable for holding families for longer than a few hours. It considers that in some situations, it would be more appropriate to hold families at Tinsley House. [32]
3 Monitoring the new family removal process
3.1 Outcomes of cases dealt with under the new approach
The UKBA began to pilot its new approach to family removals in June 2010, and published two assessments of these. [33]
The first Annual Report of the Independent Family Returns Panel contains an overview of the outcomes of cases that entered the removal process between 1 March 2011 and 31 March 2012. [34] The Panel considered that the fact that 51 per cent of families who had left the UK did so without the need for an ensured return gave grounds for "cautious optimism". However, it also highlighted some concerns, such as the slow pace at which some cases progressed through the system - only 29 per cent of cases had reached a conclusion after a year, and only 50 per cent of those cases referred to the Panel had left the UK by the end of the year:
Family Returns Process: 1 March 2011 – 31 March 2012
Families entering the returns process
Grants of leave to remain
Not family with children
Total outcomes
Types of return
Required return
Ensured return
Total returns
Referred to Panel
An independent evaluation of the family return process was due to be completed by the end of 2012. [35]
3.2 HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
In spring 2012 Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons conducted its first inspection of Cedars. [36] It identified concerns that UKBA regions were being inconsistent in applying referral criteria, and concerns about the behaviour of arrest teams and use of force to effect removal (which included an instance of force being used against a pregnant woman). Overall, however, the report found that the conditions and treatment given to families in Cedars was a considerable improvement on how such cases had previously been dealt with. Unlike findings from past inspections of Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre, the inspectors found that the conditions and length of detention at Cedars could not be said to cause distress to children and parents, and considered that many practices applied at Cedars should be replicated in other detention centres.
3.3 Annual Report of the Independent Family Returns Panel
The first Annual Report of the Independent Family Returns Panel was published in September 2012. It contained an overview of the new family return process, including the role of the Panel, and commentary on issues which have arose during its first year in operation. [37] The Report noted that the role of the Panel has extended beyond its original remit to provide advice to the UKBA on how to resolve particular cases, to encompass other issues including policy and practice, contract management and engagement with other stakeholders.
The Report contained 32 recommendations for change which related to all stages of the family removal process. Six recommendations were given particular priority. These included that the UKBA review the criteria for use of Cedars accommodation, and ensure that these are consistently applied by casework regions; that it develop a behaviour management policy which includes the use of physical intervention with children under 18; and that it always involve children in major decisions that affect their lives.
4 Sources of statistics on child immigration detention
Monthly management information on the number of children entering detention held solely underImmigration Act powers is published on the Home Office website. It covers Immigration Removal Centres, Cedars pre-departure accommodation, and short-term holding facilities suitable for up to seven days detention, but does not include numbers of children held in police cells, Prison Service establishments or short-term holding rooms at ports and airports (for less than 24 hours), or persons held under criminal and immigration powers. [38]
Snapshot figures of the number of children in detention under Immigration Act powers are also available in the Home Office's quarterly, monthly and annual statistics.
Annex: Background: child detention policies under Labour
Policy and practice
Before October 2001 the Labour Government's policy was that families with children could only be detained under Immigration Act powers in exceptional circumstances and for a few days prior to their removal from the UK, or as part of the detained fast-track process. [39] That policy was set out in a Home Office White Paper of July 1998 entitled Fairer, Firmer, Faster[40]
The February 2002 White Paper Secure Borders, Safe Haven signalled a shift in policy. It allowed for families to be detained "at other times and for longer periods than just immediately prior to removal." It envisaged that this might occur whilst families' identities and reasons for claiming asylum were established, or because there was a "reasonable belief" that they might abscond. [41]
In 2008 the then Government set out the circumstances in which children could be detained:
Children are detained in four limited circumstances: first, as part of a family group whose detention is considered appropriate; second, when unaccompanied, while alternative care arrangements are made (and normally only overnight); third, in the case of a former FNP [Foreign National Prisoner] under the age of 18 where it can be shown that they pose a serious risk to the public; and fourth, unaccompanied children escorted from their normal place of residence to a port for the purpose of removal. While the detention of families with children is very regrettable, it nevertheless remains necessary in appropriate cases in order to maintain an effective immigration control and to tackle abuses of the asylum and immigration system. [42]
Families could be detained at Tinsley House and Dungavel House Immigration Removal Centres (usually for no more than 72 hours), or at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre (for longer periods of time). [43]
According to an earlier version of the UKBA's Enforcement Instructions and Guidance (guidance for UKBA staff), families should have been detained as a last resort and for the shortest possible time. [44] It was not UKBA policy to separate family units, although this may have been done if there was evidence that separating a child from their parents would protect them from significant harm. As a general rule, unaccompanied children were not detained if the UKBA accepted that they were under 18.
From December 2003, detention of children beyond 28 days required ministerial authorisation. Cases were referred to the Immigration Minister when 28 days' detention was approaching, and, if continued detention was authorised, weekly thereafter. [45] In 2007 the Joint Committee on Human Rights expressed doubts about the value of this review, citing concerns that Ministers focused on immigration issues (such as the prospects for removal) rather than welfare issues. [46]
Since section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 came into force, the UKBA has had a duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of children. This duty, and its implications for detention policy, was much discussed during the passage of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009[47]
In January 2011, the High Court found in the favour of two families who argued that they had been unlawfully detained at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre following unsuccessful asylum claims. [48] The Court found that although the policy to detain families with children was not unlawful, "...There is, nonetheless, a significant body of evidence which demonstrates that employees of UKBA have failed to apply that policy with the rigour it deserves." The Court found no evidence that the UKBA's duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of the children had been properly considered in the two cases it considered. Nor was the Court satisfied that officials had properly applied other aspects of the official detention policy, such as to consider the necessity and proportionality of detention, to ensure that detention is used as a last resort and for the shortest possible time, and to consider each case on its individual merits.
Related literature and Parliamentary debate
The policies pursued under Labour were held to be lawful and in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child[49] Nevertheless, they were subject to sustained and consistent criticism:
• NGO and academic research
There is a considerable body of research relating to the use and effects of immigration detention for children (and other groups), much of which is available from the Information Centre About Asylum and Refugees (ICAR)'s online research directory.
In December 2009 a joint policy statement by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists and the UK Faculty of Public Health argued that the administrative detention of children for immigration purposes is harmful and unacceptable and called on the Government to stop detaining children without delay. [50]
• Statutory bodies
Anne Owers, former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, expressed serious concerns about the conditions in which children were detained throughout her tenure of office. [51]
In April 2009 a report published by 11 Million (the Children's Commissioner for England) stated that the use of child immigration detention is never likely to be in the child's best interests and called for urgent development of alternative policies for refused asylum seeker families. [52]
The independent Chief Inspector of the UKBA published an inspection report into the UKBA's approach to family removals in July 2010. [53] He highlighted "significant weaknesses" with UKBA procedures.
• Parliamentary interest
Immigration detention of children has been a frequent topic for questions and debates in both Houses. Many amendments to various recent immigration bills have been proposed, to end, limit or improve conditions of detention of children. [54] There have also been several Early Day Motions on children in immigration detention, and Adjournment and Westminster Hall debates. [55]
In 2006 a report produced by the All-Party Groups on Children and Refugees suggested to the Home Office and the Government that they ought to be looking for alternatives to detention. That report made some practical suggestions about alternatives to detention that could be considered, and referred to international comparisons. [56]
In 2007 the Joint Committee on Human Rights conducted an inquiry into the Treatment of Asylum Seekers. The Committee concluded that children should not be detained for immigration purposes, but that if they were, minimum safeguards must be put in place including automatic bail hearings after seven days.[57]
In 2009 the Home Affairs Committee conducted a short inquiry into The Detention of Children in the Immigration System. The Committee accepted that in some circumstances, short-term detention of children was necessary in order to enforce a family's removal from the UK. However, it did not accept longer-term detention of children, particularly when there are outstanding legal issues to resolve. In order to address the underlying "cause" of the use of child immigration detention, the Committee recommended that changes be made to the overall asylum process, by restricting appeal rights and improving the quality of initial decision-making. [58]
Pursuit of alternative policies: The Kent and Glasgow pilots
In view of the criticisms, the Labour Government committed the UKBA to exploring suitable alternatives to the use of immigration detention for children. In 2007 the 'Clan Ebor' project in Yorkshire sought to increase the rate of assisted voluntary returns by asking selected families to attend a series of meetings with UKBA officials following the refusal of their asylum application, but it was not considered to be a success. [59]
In January 2008 the then Border and Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne, set out a ten-point plan which included a commitment to bring in alternatives to detention for children by January 2009. [60]
The Millbank 12-month 'alternative to detention' pilot was launched in Kent in November 2008. [61] The pilot's stated objective was to encourage refused asylum seeker families to make an assisted voluntary return to their country of origin. Families were accommodated in a large residential facility and given information about options for voluntary return. The UKBA published a review of the pilot in May 2009. It was not judged to be a success. Although over 500 cases were referred to the pilot, 68% were subsequently found to be unsuitable, and only one family made a voluntary return. Factors cited in the evaluation included submissions of further representations and families' reluctance to accept that they would be removed and the lack of 'suitable' families identified. [62]
A separate evaluative report produced by The Children's Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees described the pilot as a "missed opportunity". [63] It argued that the design of the scheme was flawed, notably due to its coercive elements and confusion over the referral criteria. It also argued that the pilot highlighted wider problems throughout the asylum determination system which needed to be considered.
In June 2009 a new three year alternative to detention pilot project was launched in Glasgow by the UKBA in partnership with the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council. [64] Families were accommodated in a small number of designated flats and received "dedicated family support" to prepare for their return to their country of origin, supported by social workers. The project design aimed to reflect the lessons learnt from the Millbank pilot. For example, only families who had exhausted their appeal rights were referred.
The pilot was cut short following the 2010 general election and the new government's policy commitment to end the use of immigration detention for children. A final evaluation published in May 2011 summarised the project's results up to that point:
Twenty-five families entered the Project. Thirteen were housed in one of the FRP flats, and, more recently, 12 have been involved through the outreach programme. Three families were removed from the Project because of medical concerns; four families absconded; six families were withdrawn because they refused to engage with FRP staff (other families also refused to engage, but were removed for other reasons); and seven families were removed because of ongoing legal appeals. As of February 2011, five families were working with the FRP. One is located in the FRP accommodation and four are being supported through outreach work.
To date three of the families involved in the Project have agreed to voluntary return – but these agreements were not authorised by the Home Office in Croydon. One further family had agreed to voluntary return, but had not yet returned. [65]
The evaluation highlighted a couple of "external factors" which had affected the project. Firstly, a significant proportion of the families referred to the project continued to pursue legal avenues for remaining in the UK (e.g. Judicial Reviews or fresh asylum claims) and were consequently removed from the project. Secondly, once the new government had announced that it was ending the use of detention for families with children, there was no way of concluding individual cases in the project.
In addition to these external factors, the evaluation report identified a range of other barriers which were considered to influence families' willingness to make a voluntary return to their country of origin; namely:
• the length of stay of the family in the UK – some had been here for many years;
• stories from their home country supporting the view that a return was not safe;
• families being in a state of denial over their asylum decision;
• families protecting their children from worrying about return;
• continual legal appeals and representations; and
• word of mouth – giving encouragement not to leave, as there may be the opportunity of a change in the policy in the future, or of another "legacy‟ decision. [66]
[1] HM Government, The Coalition: our programme for government, Ref: 401238 / 0510, May 2010, p.21
[2] UKBA news release, 'Detention of children in Dungavel ends,' 19 May 2010
[3] UKBA news release, 'Update on child detention,' 15 May 2010
[6] Home Office, Draft structural reform plan, July 2010 and Structural reform plan monthly implementation update, October 2010. For related press reports about the 'delay' see The Guardian "Home Office delays child migrant pledge", 8 November 2010 and Guardian.co.uk "Response: Lib Dems are keeping their promises on child detention", 16 November 2010
[7] Office of Deputy Prime Minister speechesChild detention speech, 16 December 2010
[9] UKBA update, 'New family returns process begins', 28 February 2011
[10] UKBA, Enforcement Instructions and Guidance, Chapter 45 'Family cases' (accessed on 2 January 2013)
[11] Immigration Rules (HC 395 of 1993-4 as amended), paragraph 320(7B)
[12] HC 863 of 2010-12 (in force from 6 April 2011)
[14] Children's Commissioner press release, 'Children's Commissioner's statement on the review into alternatives to child detention', 16 December 2010 and Refugee Council press release, 'Government announcement on ending child detention: our response', 16 December 2010
[16] UKBA website, 'Pre-departure accommodation - Cedars' (undated; accessed on 2 January 2013)
[24] Independent Family Returns Panel, Annual Report 2011/12, paras 2.1 - 2.5
[26] UKBA, Review into ending the detention of children for immigration purposes, December 2010 [DEP 2010-2305]
[27] UKBA, Review into ending the detention of children for immigration purposes, December 2010 [DEP 2010-2305]
[29] HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Report on an unannounced inspection of the short-term holding facility at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, 3 March 201, para 1.47
[30] Children's Society press release, 'Almost 700 children detained by the UK Border Agency in three months', 17 October 2011
[31] UKBA, news and updates, 'Media reports on the detention of children: UK Border Agency response', 17 October 2011
[32] Independent Family Returns Panel, Annual Report 2011/12, paras 2.13; 5.1 - 5.5
[34] Independent Family Returns Panel, Annual Report 2011/12, paras 1.6 - 1.11
[37] Independent Family Returns Panel, Annual Report 2011/12
[39] The Immigration Act 1971 provides the majority of the statutory powers of detention for those subject to immigration control, although these provisions have been amended and added to by subsequent legislation:Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002; UK Borders Act 2007
[40] Cm 4018 July 1998, para. 12.5
[41] Cm 5387, para. 4.77
[44] UKBA Enforcement Instructions and Guidance, Chapter 55 'Detention and Temporary Release',v9 para 55.9.3-4
[45] HL Deb 23 July 2007 c160GC
[46] Joint Committee on Human Rights, The Treatment of Asylum Seekers, HC60, 30 March 2007, paras 256-7
[49] S and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2007] EWHC 1654 (Admin)
[53] Chief Inspector of the UKBA, Family Removals: A Thematic Inspection January - April 2010, 27 July 2010
[54] See for example debates on UK Borders Bill in 2007
[56] Alternatives to immigration detention of families and children, a discussion paper by John Bercow MP, Lord Dubs and Evan Harris MP for the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Children and Refugees, July 2006
[57] Joint Committee on Human Rights, The Treatment of Asylum Seekers, 30 March 2007, HC 60-I 2006-07, para 261
[58] Home Affairs Committee, The Detention of Children in the Immigration System, HC 73, 29 November 2009, paras 7 - 17
[59] Refugee Council, Operation 'Clannebor', December 2007
[60] Home Office press notice, Ten point plan for border protection and Immigration reform, 14 January 2008
[62] UKBA website [National Archive version], Review of the alternative to detention (A2D) project, May 2009
[64] UKBA website [National Archive version] news release, 'Voluntary returns project for refused asylum families will start in June,' 12 May 2009
[65] ODS Consulting, Evaluation of the Family Return Project, Glasgow City Council UKBA and the Scottish Government, May 2011
[66] ODS Consulting, Evaluation of the Family Return Project, Glasgow City Council UKBA and the Scottish Government, May 2011

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