Government deports children

Submitted by Matthew on 24 June, 2010 - 8:30 Author: Jade Baker

In a double blow for some of Britain’s most vulnerable, it’s been revealed that almost two thousand Afghan immigrants, including 150 unaccompanied children and adolescents, face unwarranted deportation in the coming year.

Meanwhile the government is standing aside while the Refugee and Migrant Justice legal charity is set to close this month due to cuts and unsustainable methods of funding.

Plans circulating about the £4 million “reintegration centre” to be set up in Kabul, Afghanistan, by the UK Border Agency have shed light on the government’s criminal plans to send 12 boys aged under 18 back to their “birth place” every month... until presumably, not a single vestige of Afghan adolescence will be found in the UK.

All of these youth entered the country as orphans or estranged from their families. Many did not grow up in Afghanistan but as refugees in Iran or Pakistan, where their families continue to live today. It would be a serious indictment on the governement to cull these defenceless youths and send them to a war stricken environment, separated from their families.

Up until now child protection concerns have blocked deportations. Setting up a “reintegration centre” is nothing but a corrupt loophole to get around the regulations and should be declared as such. This move by the government is a harbinger of more inhumane anti-immigrant policy onslaughts to come.

The rest of Europe is joining the UK’s bandwagon, with plans announced by Norway to open a reception centre in Kabul. Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands are also said to be on the case.

The future for Britain’s immigrant population is looking precarious and bleak.

The dire state of refugee legal aid, a vital lifeline in times of crisis makes it much worse.

“We need a working-class movement against deportations.”

As the Tory-Liberal coalition government steps up its deportation policies, Dashti Jamal of the Campaign to Stop Deportations to Iraq and the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees spoke to Solidarity

“We will see an increase in deportations to Iraq under the new government, but we have to remember that it's a policy which the Labour government started.

The Iraqi and Afghan people are victims of the Labour Party's wars, but neither their government nor this one wants to take responsibility for the problems those wars have created.

Sending people back to Iraq is an abuse of human rights. There's no security there; the country is torn apart by sectarianism and Islamism. There are millions of displaced people within the country; deporting people to Iraq contravenes international human rights laws and conventions.

Refugees and migrant workers are part of the working class; we need a working class-led movement against deportations and racist immigration laws on the same scale as the movement that opposed the Iraq war.”

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