What have I done?: the experiences of children and families in UK immigration detention - lessons to learn

This research investigates the experiences of UK immigration detention of children1 and their families. Numerous research studies (Crawley and Lester, 2005; Lorek et al, 2009; Burnett et al, 2010) and inspection reports (Aynsley-Green, 2005; HMIP, 2008; 2010) have highlighted that the experience of detention, even for a relatively brief period of time, has a detrimental effect on the mental and physical health of children.

This report is intended to provide further evidence of these experiences on children and families. The research is based on the views and experiences of 32 families including 34 children who were detained with their parents and 14 children who experienced the detention of their parents while they lived in the community in the UK.

The evidence was collected through family case files and qualitative interviews that took place between November 2009 and March 2010.

The Children's Society