According to medical organisations, if the UK locks up child refugees, they could suffer PTSD.

The top medical organisations in the UK have requested an immediate meeting with ministers after claiming that if the illegal immigration bill that has been making its way through parliament is passed, tens of thousands of youngsters might be imprisoned forever.

The Faculty of Public Health, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of Psychiatry, and the British Medical Association have written to the home secretary Suella Braverman and the health secretary Steve Barclay.

They have stated that keeping adolescents would result in “unimaginable levels of harm” and cautioned that youngsters may experience post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, and other mental and physical concerns. There are currently 24 hours for custody of separated children, 72 hours for custody of children in families, and 72 hours for pregnant women. Beyond such restrictions, detention needs ministerial authority.

If the bill becomes law, it would grant the home secretary additional, indefinite detention powers that would apply to both unaccompanied minors and minors who are with their families and would prevent them from being released on bail for a period of 28 days. The home secretary may exercise the new authorities anywhere she deems suitable.

In the first three years after the law takes effect, over 45,000 children might be impacted, including approximately 15,000 youngsters who have been brought to the UK alone and have been separated from their parents.

According to a Home Office official, it is critical that we convey a strong message that the exploitation of children who are used by traffickers and brought across the Channel cannot go on. As a result, under the unlawful migration bill, families and kids who enter the UK unlawfully won’t be exempt from detention and deportation. Although the home secretary will have the ability to remove an unaccompanied minor under the age of 18 from the UK under this legislation, we have amended the bill to make it clear that this power will only be used in very specific circumstances, such as to facilitate a parent-child reunion or the removal of someone to their safe home country. Additionally, we have made it abundantly clear that a kid who is unaccompanied can only be kept under extremely specific conditions. The calculations do not take into consideration how the law will be put into practise or the deterrent impact of its provisions.

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