Before the last election over 1,000 innocent children from our communities were locked up in detention centres like Yarl's Wood for immigration purposes every year. Now none are.
CITIZENS UK's Sanctuary Pledge campaign secured commitments from all of the main political parties that they would stop locking up innocent children in detention centres like Yarl's Wood, and work with our leaders on humane alternatives that meet the highest standards of child welfare.
This is the story of how we made it happen:
As a result of the Sanctuary Pledge:
- all three main political parties and their leaders are committed to ending the detention of children for immigration purposes
- the family unit at Yarl's Wood closed in 2010 and all the remaining families were released
- an Independent Family Returns Panel oversees all family removals and makes sure that high standards of child welfare are maintained
- the UK Border Agency now has a team of Specialist Family Caseowners
- families that need pre-flight accommodation can be prepared for departure at the state-of-the-art CEDARS centre designed and co-run by Barnardo's
- an Independent Child Detention Monitoring Panel, established by CITIZENS UK, provides accountability and ensures that the letter and spirit of the Sanctuary Pledge is upheld.