Immigration: Children

House of Lords written question – answered on 29th August 2013.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the Home Office ascertains and takes into account the wishes and feelings of children before making decisions to hold parents in immigration detention, continue their detention, or deport or forcibly remove them; and how the Home Office's duties to safeguard children and promote their welfare under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 are implemented in such situations.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Where detention of an immigration offender, or continued detention in the case of a criminal who is already separated from his family by virtue of the custodial sentence passed by the courts, will affect a pre-existing family unit it is our practice to ensure that safeguarding child welfare issues are taken into account, and weighed against the need to detain and implement deportation or removal. In such cases close attention is given to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The aims of both these are supported by paragraphs 396 to 400 of the Immigration Rules. These changes were introduced on 9 July 2012 so as to deliver in individual cases where a parent is liable to deportation outcomes that are compatible with the two conventions mentioned and with Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. In all such cases we are open to discovering the views of the children concerned. This is done principally through the parents and others who are in close contact with the children and are trusted by them.

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