Clause 1

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 6th March 2007.

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Photo of Paul Rowen Paul Rowen Shadow Minister, Transport 12:00 pm, 6th March 2007

I am interested in what the Minister is saying. While that may be the practicality in terms of what might happen at a port, we are making law that applies in general. In that sense we are talking about circumstances in which an immigration officer might detain someone. I accept that there may be a distinction between someone coming into the country and someone going out, but nevertheless one cannot say that asylum seeker children will not be detained in any circumstance.

May I refer the Minister to the report published by the chief inspector of prisons, and in particular her comments on short holding facilities and the fact that many detainees felt unsafe in those centres, and her remark about John Lennon airport in Liverpool? It holds children for short periods and she noted that there was evidence of the need for staff training in the  protection of children. We are already getting reports that that is needed. Surely, all that we are seeking to do is ensure that when the Minister introduces his code of practice and regulations, he takes account of the Children Act 2004.