I am writing to ask you, your readers and our MP to back the OutCry! campaign, a partnership between The Children's Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees, which is demanding an end to the immigration detention of children (join the campaign at www.outcrycampaign.org.uk).
Every year, the UK immigration system locks up around 1,000 children. They have often fled countries where they experienced violence, war and discrimination. The children have committed no crime and are hidden from society. The effects are terrible. Many experience depression, weight loss, bed-wetting and even self-harm. This may be happening to children in our local community and I believe this is immoral, unacceptable, and a clear breach of the UK Human Rights Act 1998.
Reports of investigations into the detention centres carried out by the Chief Inspector of Prisons have found that several of the children have been detained by use of physical force, and separated from their parents for months. They can be taken from their homes late at night, and then may have journeys of over four hours. It is heartbreaking.
Residents of our community cannot ignore this issue - it could be a child who lives on our streets, attends our local schools, who is detained next.
Not only should we back this campaign, but also let it encourage us to use our votes wisely in the next General Election. If we do not vote, we cannot change things.
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