How the government deports parents with children in the UK

29 August 2019
As part of our Anti-Birthday campaign, Legal Manager Carmen Kearney explains the importance of representation and expert reports in deportation cases.

A day in the life of BID's Advice Line

8 August 2019
As part of our Anti-Birthday campaign casework volunteer Charlotte Rubin captures the atmosphere of our busy office while the advice line is open.

How the UK government detains and deports parents

15 May 2019
Today on International Day of Families, our Legal Manager Nick explains how the Home Office fails families by detaining and deporting parents.

BID's Celia Clarke comments on the separation of families in the Independent

23 April 2019
BID's comment on the case of a woman facing deportation, despite having two British children who would have to be taken into care as a result.

“In Whose Best Interests?” Event Summary

6 February 2019
Watch clips and download the slides from "In Whose Best Interests?"our event exploring detention, deportation and separated families.

"In Whose Best Interests?" event to be held 22 January 2019

12 December 2018
Join us as we come together to examine the separation of families by detention and deportation and conduct the BID Annual General Meeting.

VICE politics podcast - an interview with BID's Nick Beales on the separation of families

6 September 2018

VICE politics podcast has released an in-depth interview with Nick Beales, explaining the government's practice of splitting up families through immigration detention. 

The Observer newspaper: our immigration detention system is “shameful”

6 August 2018
The newspaper’s editorial team stated that “any sense of basic justice or human compassion seems to have eluded the Home Office”.

A father in detention, a baby placed in care: one example of how parents and children are separated

1 August 2018
Read about 'A's experience of detention and separation from his child.

High Court Order: the Home Office admits it unlawfully separated a father from his daughter

11 July 2018
Expert evidence from BID reveals this is not a one-off case but indicative of a systemic failure.

Children split from parents by immigration in UK

3 July 2018
Sky News article explains the traumatic effects for children separated from their parents, in the UK and abroad.

UK immigration authorities separating children from parents

3 July 2018
A Guardian article describes the devastating reality for parents detained in the UK today.

Children are separated from parents in the UK just like in Trump’s America

21 June 2018
BID director Celia Clarke shares the shocking reality of UK detention practices in the Metro.

Michael's experience of detention

28 November 2017
Michael was separated from his partner and young son while in detention. His family is still grappling with the psychological consequences.

Fractured Childhoods: The Separation of Families by Immigration Detention

20 February 2017

A guest piece in Border Criminologies, by our Research and Policy Manager, John Hopgood

Families separated by immigration detention losing out from Legal Aid cuts - BID report

24 September 2015

As the Government launches its new Immigration Bill, Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) today published its latest report that analyses the impact that cuts to legal aid have had on families.

A report criticises UK Government for detaining migrant children and separating families​

19 November 2014

'State of Children’s Rights in England' report criticises UK Government for detaining migrant children and separating families

Home Office urged to use force against detained children

9 October 2014

More children should be detained and guards should have the option of using force against them. That's the extraordinary conclusion of the Independent Family Returns Panel, chaired by former director of Education and Children's Services Chris Spencer. An article featured on

Trafficked children need guardians

6 April 2014

A letter signed by BID and other organisations published in the Guardian.

Refugee children need guardians

13 December 2013

A letter signed by BID and other organisations published in the Guardian. 

Immigration Bill

18 November 2013

A joint letter from charities including BID on the implications of the Immigration Bill for child welfare.

Children and legal aid

11 July 2013

An article around the Government's proposed changes to legal aid threaten children’s access to justice.

Government's proposed changes to legal aid threaten children’s access to justice

11 July 2013

Government's proposed changes to legal aid threaten children’s access to justice - letter to The Daily Telegraph

Immigration detention separates children from parents, report shows

21 May 2013

A new study in the UK has revealed that children are separated from parents by immigration detention.

Why is the government intent on breaking up these families?

23 April 2013

A piece by Sarah Campbell featured on the Liberal Conspiracy website.

Effect of detention on children

19 April 2013

Immigration detention dehumanises not only the detainee but also every person who deals with it. It is a poison that infects us all. The professionals who deal with detainees and their families develop coping mechanisms.

Border Agency criticised for separating children from parents

19 April 2013

Children are being placed at risk of serious harm by the detention of parents on immigration grounds, a charity has claimed.

UKBA condemned for separating 200 children from their parents

19 April 2013

Government facing renewed calls to end the practice of separating children from their parents for immigration purposes.

First UK study finds 200 children split from parents in immigration detention

19 April 2013

The first UK study of its kind, published by BID today, examines the cases of 111 parents who were separated from 200 children by immigration detention. The UK Border Agency repeatedly failed to safeguard children when detaining their parents, with appalling consequences for the children concerned. The report ‘Fractured Childhoods: the separation of families by immigration detention’ can be downloaded a the bottom of this page.

UKBA separates 200 children from their parents

18 April 2013

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has repeatedly failed to uphold its legal duty to safeguard children of immigrants during their parents' detention and separated 200 of them from their family, according to a new report.

ECtHR Abdi v. the United Kingdom (no. 27770/08)

9 April 2013

ECtHR judgment in Abdi, BID intervened. Finding of Art 5 breach, real though limited compensation for unlawful detention

Deportee families face unfair attack

18 June 2012

A letter signed by BID and other organisations published in The Guardian.

RCC briefing: detention of children & the new family returns process

19 September 2011

Despite having committed to ending the immigration detention of children in May last year, the Government opened a new family detention facility in Crawley, Sussex in September 2011.

BID has published new research on detention of children

25 May 2011

BID and The Children's Society have published a new report on detention of children, titled ‘Last resort or first resort? Immigration detention of children in the UK.' Please follow the links for the report and the executive summary.

Outcry! partnership between BID and The Children's Society on child detention comes to an end

11 May 2011

The OutCry! partnership between The Children's Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees, that made such a vital contribution to campaigning for an end to the immigration detention of children, has come to a close. The funding for the partnership came to an end last month.

Immigration officials detained mother unlawfully

20 April 2011

A High Court judge has ruled immigration officials acted unlawfully in their handling of the case of a mother who was detained for close to a year and separated from her three children.

Judgment handed down on unlawful detention of mother separated from her children

19 April 2011

Based on extensive experience with families separated by immigration detention, BID provided a witness statement to the court in this case.

An end to child detention? How a High Court judgement brings us closer

13 January 2011

In a landmark judgment on child detention at Yarl’s Wood, Judge Wyn Williams found that the UK Border Agency failed to uphold its own rules and breached claimants’ rights to freedom, privacy and family life. The coalition government’s plans to continue detaining children until May now look to be in ruins.

Asylum children detention ruled illegal

11 January 2011

Forced detention of the children of two failed asylum seeker mothers at Yarl's Wood immigration centre was ruled unlawful by the High Court today.

OutCry! response to Nick Clegg's announcement on the detention of children

16 December 2010

The OutCry! campaign is delighted that Nick Clegg has set out a timetable to end the abhorrent practice of detaining children in removal centres.  We particularly welcome the immediate closure of the family unit at Yarl's Wood. The government is to be commended for taking seriously the need to put children's welfare at the centre of the asylum process.

Children's rights campaigners hail drop in immigration detention, but call for more progress

25 November 2010

Children's rights campaigners have welcomed a drop in the number of children detained under the Immigration Act.

Outcry! briefing outlining concern about new proposed methods of forcibly removing families

19 November 2010

BID and The Children's Society have issued a briefing paper outlining their concern about two of the methods of forcibly removing families that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is trialing: limited notice of removal and accommodation centres. Dowload the full briefing, below.

Triple vulnerability: the lives of Britain's undocumented migrant children

9 November 2010

Undocumented migrant children in the UK stand at the crossroads of different and conflicting policy agendas. The unresolved tension between commitments to protect children's rights and to securing borders is shaping their everyday lives in Britain.

Child detention in immigration centres faces legal challenge

26 October 2010

Home Office to fight high court case of two mothers whose children became ill after being detained in Yarl's Wood.

Campaigners highlight child detention case as govt action 'stalls'

26 October 2010

Campaigners are seizing on a test case on child detention before the high court today, as observers start to lose faith in the government's promise to end the practice.

This was state-sponsored cruelty last year. It still is

16 September 2010

Nick Clegg's passionate attack on the detention of children in immigration centres is not reflected by his government in action.

Act now on child refugee detainees

9 September 2010

A letter signed by BID and other organisations published in The Guardian.

Clegg signals end of child detention with Yarl's Wood family unit closure

21 July 2010

The family wing of Yarl's Wood immigration centre is to be closed as part of government plans to end the detention of children awaiting deportation, Nick Clegg announced today. The move was hailed by the Liberal Democrats as a sign of their influence in the coalition although it was also mired in confusion.

Yarl's Wood detention centre's family wing to be shut down

21 July 2010

Nick Clegg describes facility opened by Labour government, which detains up to 1,000 children a year, as a 'moral outrage'.

Asylum children will be kept out of 'distressing' detention centres

14 April 2010

Damian Green, the immigration minister, is to end the practice of keeping children in detention centres within the next few months.

Family wins £100,000 for detention ordeal

29 January 2010

Bolivian asylum seekers were falsely imprisoned and children traumatised after being held at centre.

Move children out of migrant centres, say medical experts

10 December 2009

Detaining children in immigration centres puts them at risk of mental health problems, a coalition of royal medical colleges warns the government.

We are shockingly complacent about locking up 2,000 children a year

18 October 2009

The plight of the children of asylum seekers represents a sadly unexceptional failure of public conscience- Henry Porter

Children made 'sick with fear' in UK immigration detention centres

13 October 2009

Weight loss, difficulty sleeping, bed-wetting and sickness among symptoms found at Yarl's Wood.

Ministers under fire for locking up immigrant children

30 August 2009

Ministers were facing accusations today that hundreds of children are being held unnecessarily in immigration detention centres as official figures revealed, for the first time, that 470 minors were being detained with their families.

BID and The Children's Society comment on child detention figures

1 August 2009

The Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary (April-June 2009), released by the Home Office, contains for the first time more comprehensive figures about children held in immigration detention.

In detention: Schools in immigration removal centres

14 April 2009

'I asked if the teacher had been in contact with my son's school. She said they never did that.' Janet Murray on how children held in immigration centres are denied education.

Asylum children: Jailed at birth

29 July 2006

They are the forgotten victims of Britain's asylum system: babies born behind bars and locked up in detention centres.

More than 2,000 children of asylum-seekers detained

27 March 2006

More than 2,000 children of asylum-seekers are locked up every year, leaving them suffering depression, nightmares and eating problems, a coalition of campaign groups has warned.

Immigration Detention in the UK - children and vulnerable people

1 April 2003

Children in asylum seeking families can be detained indefinitely at any stage of their claim to remain in the UK. There are around 40 family places in detention centres (now called 'removal centres') but no routinely available statistics about the number of children detained, at what stage of their case, or for how long. In answer to a recent parliamentary question, the government revealed that there were 56 children in immigration detention on 2nd April 2003. These children are detained under the same criteria as single adults.

Worlds apart

7 January 2003

Is it right for asylum-seeking children to be taken out of school and taught in detention centres? Diane Taylor reports.

Hard labour

14 September 2002

The Home Office says it rarely, if ever, detains asylum seekers if they are pregnant or have infants. But many studies don't back up that claim, so Melanie McFadyean set out to investigate - and found yet another shameful chapter to add to the UK's record on refugees.

Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) is a registered Charity No. 1077187. Registered in England as a Limited Company No. 03803669. Accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner Ref. No. N200100147. We are a member of the Fundraising Regulator, committed to best practice in fundraising and follow the standards for fundraising as set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.
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