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Immigration: Children

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the greatest number of days that any child has been detained in an immigration removal centre in each of the past five years. [HL233]

The attached table shows the greatest number of days that any child has been detained in an immigration removal centre as shown in local management information. All children were detained as part of a family unit.

Year(1 April—30 March)

Number of days detained

2004

163

2005

137

2006

190

2007

140

2008 (year to date)

95

Please note that full data are not available for 2004.

Length of detention may include time spent by a mother and her child in one of the Prison Service's mother and baby units following completion of a prison sentence and pending transfer into the UK Border Agency's estate.

The detention of families with children is kept to the minimum period and is subject to frequent and rigorous reviews, including ministerial authority for families detained for over 28 days. The majority of families are detained for far shorter periods than the exceptional cases shown above, with many removed or released within seven days.

The figures provided do not constitute part of national statistics as they are based on management information. This information has not been quality assured under national statistics protocols and should therefore be treated as provisional.