Children held in disgusting and degrading conditions at Heathrow, claims report
The UK Border Agency has been accused of detaining children in degrading and disgraceful conditions at Heathrow Airport.
The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) says children of all ages are held in unacceptable facilities nearly every day, and sometimes kept over night in small, stuffy rooms with no natural light.
The report claims there is no access to open air and no proper sleeping accommodation. There are only hand basins for washing, and children are often kept in the facility with adults they are not related to.
A spokesperson for IMB told the Press Association that the practice has continued despite the Government promising it would end the detention of children:
"This continues despite the Government saying that it would end the detention of children for immigration purposes. The IMB recognises that children cannot always be admitted to the country straight away and are sometimes held for their own protection.
"But it recommends that non-custodial, child-friendly accommodation is provided at Heathrow for families with children as a matter of urgency."
The IMB was set up to monitor and report on the welfare of people in immigration custody at the airport, and the teams are made up of unpaid volunteers who visit the airport at least once every week.
A spokeswoman for BAA said they had not seen the report and could not comment, but were "somewhat surprised by UK Border Force's response, since we have had many meetings with them recently and it has not been raised."