Immigration Detention of Families & Children Ruled Unlawful

Detention of families with children ruled unlawful

The High Court ruled on 11 January 2011 that the detention of three children with their mothers, whose applications for asylum had been rejected, was unlawful. The ruling entitled them to receive financial compensation.

Reetha Suppiad and her two sons (age 2 and 11), and Sakinat Bello and her daughter (age 3), were detained at Yarl’s Wood Centre for between 12 and 17 days although their deportation orders had been cancelled.

The ruling explains that the policy of detaining families itself was not unlawful but had been applied in an unlawful way. In particular, articles 8 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights – respectively the right to private and family life and the right to liberty – had been breached. David Wood, of the UK Border Agency, said that the Agency will not seek permission to appeal the ruling.