challenge them about the charity's involvement in locking up children and families.
Sorry for the corporate-press-release style and tone.... didn't have time to write a more down-to-earth report as well as a press release! A video of the action is being edited and will be up in the next few days.
detention centre in Crawley. Their involvement was cited by the local
council as a major factor in the decision to grant planning permission,
and sparked a wave of criticism.
Sir Al Aynsey Green, former childrens' commissioner, Frances Webber, vice
chair of the Institute of Race Relations and many others accused Barnados
of providing "a cloak of legitimacy to the continued detention of
Around 10-15 people from Oxford No Borders, which campaigns for freedom of
movement, gave out 500 leaflets and spoke to staff and shoppers,
encouraging them to contact Barnados with complaints and questions.
"Most people were quite shocked to hear that Britain's largest childrens'
charity are implicated in keeping families imprisoned" said campaigner
Julie McCullough "Several people agreed to contact their Head Office with
complaints, and even the volunteer staff said they would ask about it."
Previous protests have included an occupation of Barnados headquarters and
the disruption of fundraising conferences and events.
"We're not going anywhere" said Samantha Tsipras, "we're determined to
keep up the pressure until Barnados do the right thing and pull out of the
 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
behav-iour. 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".
 In May 2010, the new coalition government 'committed' to ending child
detention for immigration purposes as part of a "new, compassionate
approach to family removals." However, while families with children are no
longer meant to be held in normal immigration detention centres, they will
instead be placed in new secure facilities, euphemistically and misleading
named 'open accommodation' or 'pre-departure accommodation'.
 Barnados response to the increasing criticism has been to outline
various "red lines" for involvement in the centre. These include
withdrawing services if any family has stayed at the centre more than once
or for longer than the one week maximum or if the level of force used with
a family on route to or from the centre is "disproportionate". There are
reports that many of these conditions have already been broken, something
which Barnados are ignoring. Campaigners also point out that even if these
red lines were respected, locking up children is inherently harmful. See
 For more information see: