Thursday, December 16, 2010

Humanity at last!

Wonderful news this morning as the closure of the "Family Unit" at Yarls Wood detention centre was announced along with the end to detention of children over the next few months.  This is a Lib Dem policy being put into action by the coalition government.  It's not a "sexy" policy, it doesn't appeal to the extremists but it is a right policy, a good policy.  No-one claims that all the parents seeking asylum here should be granted sanctuary just because they have children but we have said over and over again that there are ways to keep adults under close supervision which don't involve locking them up with their children - imprisoning children for the perceived sins of their parents.
I do think this awful practice would have ended a lot sooner if we'd subjected the inventors of the policy to the treatment, just for a month.  The cries of their children as they were separated from their friend and their few treasured possessions surely would have softened the hardest heart, wouldn't it?
Today, though, I just want to give thanks that this step along the way has been taken.  A slightly more humane asylum system is the result.
And it all happened on the day the Peace Light came from Bethlehem to Stockton.  How appropriate is that?

No comments: