Barnardos facilitate the existence of "Cedars": a detention centre which locks up children. Without them it would not exist.
Picture from a protest at a Barnardos fundraiser at the Royal Albert Hall.
Barnardos profits from the detention and deportation of children and families. It is under contract to provide services at "Cedars" - an immigration detention centre run by the notorious G4S, a violent security company whose guards killed the Angolan asylum seeker Jimmy Mubenga on a BA flight from Heathrow.
We don't believe adult migrants should be detained or deported, but the impact on children is even worse. In 'State Sponsored Cruelty', a 2010 report by Medical Justice, 74 out of 141 detained children surveyed had been 'psychologically harmed' by detention, resulting in food refusal, development regression and suicidal behaviour. 48% were born in the UK, and were at risk of deportation to a country they had never even visited. Al Aynsley Green, ex-Children's Commissioner for England said "Detention is harmful to children and therefore never likely to be their best interests".
This pressure led to the government promising to end child detention. But, with Barnardos giving them cover by promising to ensure that child detention was done in a humane way (clue: we don't think this is possible), they instead went ahead with Cedars detention centre.
In July last year, Barnardo's set 'red lines' for its involvement in the pilot scheme. The conditions included withdrawing services if more than 10 percent of the families deported in the first year of the trial went through the centre; if any family has stayed at the centre more than once or for longer than the one week maximum; or if disproportionate force is used with a family on route to or from the centre.
Campaigners say many of these conditions have been breached repeatedly but Barnardo's is 'simply ignoring' that and refusing to listen to anyone. Many families have reported suffering from trauma and being subjected to verbal abuse & physical assaults by the security guards. At least one family is known to have been held at the centre for over one week. An investigation by the UKBA's Professional Standards Unit into allegations surrounding the actions of Reliance security guards found that inappropriate force had been used in the case of one individual deported from Cedars. Instead of pulling out as they promised, Barnardos simply raised concerns formally with the relevant Government Minister, and carried on as before.
More background information at the London No Borders website.
What can I do about it?
- Contact Barnados and tell them to end their involvement with child detention immediately.
- Tell your friends about it and encourage them to do the same.
- Visit your local Barnados charity shop and encourage the volunteers there to complain about it too.
- Organise your own action or demo at a Barnados office or shop. You could reuse our leaflet or London No Borders' text
Barnardo's Head Office
Address: Barnardo's, Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex, IG6 1QG
Telephone: 0208 550 8822 / 0208 551 0011
Fax: 0208 551 6870 / 0208 551 8267
Barnardos Northern Ireland
Address: 542 - 544 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3HE
Telephone: 028 9067 2366
Fax: 028 9067 2399
Address: 235 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 7AR
Telephone: 0131 334 9893
Fax: 0131 316 4008
Address: Trident Court, East Moors Road, Cardiff, CF24 5TD
Telephone: 029 2049 3387
Fax: 029 2048 9802
Address: Unit 1, Satellite Business Village, Fleming Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9NE
Telephone: 01293 610 660
Fax: 01293 565 678
Address: Brooklands, Great Cornbow, Halesowen, West Midlands, B63 3AB
Telephone: 0121 550 5271 / 6
Fax: 0121 550 2594
Address: Verona House, Filwood Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3RY
Telephone: 0117 937 5500
Fax: 0117 9657082
Address: 7 Lineside Close, Liverpool, L25 2UD
Telephone: 0151 488 1100
Fax: 0151 488 1101
Address: Orchard House, Buston Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 2JL
Telephone: 0191 240 4800
Fax: 0191 240 4801
Address: Four Gables, Clarence Road, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4LB
Telephone: 0113 393 3200
Fax: 0113 393 3201