Suffer little children, and their mothers and fathers ...
Last week I read an article entitled: 'MPs demand apology for unmarried mothers who gave up children':
More than half a million
children were given up for adoption at a time when “unmarried mothers” were
often rejected by their families and ostracised by society. Adoptions were
generally handled through agencies run by the Church of England, the Roman Catholic church and the Salvation Army.Many of the women who have since gone public with
their stories say they were pressured to give away their babies.These women suffered a terrible
injustice and it should not be forgotten or ignored .
Jill Killington, 68, told
the Observer: “I was never asked
whether I wanted to go ahead with the adoption. It was a fait accompli.“Nobody gave me any information
about support or benefits, even though these would have been available at the
Veronica Smith, 77, said: “No one ever said I could keep [my
In the last few days,
like many others, I have been horrified and distressed, by the reports of
children being separated from their parents (and then held in cages) at the US
On Sunday, a day we as a nation set aside to honor
fathers and the bonds of family, I was among the millions of Americans who
watched images of children who have been torn from their parents. In the six
weeks between April 19 and May 31, the Department of Homeland Security has sent
nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care. More than
100 of these children are younger than 4 years old. The reason for these
separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of
illegally crossing our borders. . . .
government should not be in the business of warehousing children in
converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the
desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the
internment camps for U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent during
World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in
U.S. history. . . .
Colleen Kraft, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics, visited a shelter
run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. She reported that
while there were beds, toys, crayons, a playground and diaper changes, the
people working at the shelter had been instructed not to pick up or touch the
children to comfort them. . . (Laura Bush, writing for the Washington Post)
tragic and shocking to see innocent children caged like animals at US migrant
camps and to hear their cries of anguish after being forcibly separated from their
It’s immoral and goes again fundamental human rights we must always
respect, no matter the situation.
Likewise, the journalist George Monbiot:
@GeorgeMonbiot: The man who broke these children’s hearts is not welcome here. @theresa_may
show some spine and withdraw his invitation. Or you become complicit in their grief.
When you shake hands with someone who commits atrocities, you lend him your
support, and he lends you his ill-repute.
Trump is not welcome here.
The strength of feeling in support of these views, coupled with the cross-party support for acknowledging the injustice
done to mothers in the 1950/60s (as reported above), might suggest a human
rights focused government response. And yet if the following (from a Blog by
John Hopgood on behalf of Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), an independent
charity that exists to challenge immigration detention in the UK) is any
indication we will likely be waiting a long time:
Last year  the UK detained more than 32,000 people
under immigration powers. In the last 12 months alone, BID provided legal
advice and assistance to 137 parents who had been separated from their young
children by immigration detention. . . .
Fighting an immigration case – with the power of the
state against you – has never been simple. Yet successive government reforms
have been directed at making that task even more challenging. The right to a
family and private life is enshrined within the European Convention of Human
Rights under Article 8. But UK governments have sought – with some success – to
erode that right by imposing increasingly hard – ‘hostile’, in the words of the
then Home Secretary Theresa May – conditions on immigrants.https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2017/02/fractured
And more recently with reference to her
recent visit to Yarls’ Wood, and in response to Carole
Nokes MPs’ determination (as Immigration Minister) to “look at what the alternatives to detention are”, Caroline Lucus:
@CarolineLucas: Based on my harrowing visit to #YarlsWood detention centre yesterday, during which I spoke to
over 100 women detainees, I would say the alternative is pretty obvious, @carolinenokes:
treat people as human beings, and don’t detain them. #SetHerFree
UK is the only country in Europe where people can be detained indefinitely on
the say so of an
immigration officer. If other countries can do without such a draconian system
of arbitrary detention, why can’t we, @carolinenokes? #SetHerFree
Yet more evidence of the
government’s #HostileEnvironment in action.