This report is the first large scale exploration in the UK of the physical and psychological harms caused and aggravated by the detention of children for immigration purposes. 141 cases are featured in this report, involving children who were detained between 2004 and April 2010. One child had spent 166 days in detention, over numerous separate periods, before her third birthday. 48% of the children were born in the UK.

The indefinite detention of children who have committed no crime is a source of national shame. Yet, as this report describes, it is exactly what has been happening. It makes for alarming reading, and reveals a catalogue of harm. Not only have children being mentally and physically damaged, they have been denied adequate medical care.

Many of those who have been detained have been left severely traumatised. Some children have been hurt to such an extent that they have tried to end their own lives.

The findings of this report present a picture which, ultimately, suggests that in many cases children’s rights are given less precedence than immigration control. This cannot be acceptable. There is more than enough evidence in what follows to support the recommendation that the detention of children for immigration purposes should end immediately.

There is no need to continue a policy which causes untold suffering. It can stop, and it should do.
Jeremy Corbyn MP