Immigration centres 'harm children'
Children face psychological harm, violence and physical health problems in immigration detention centres, a medical charity has claimed.
Medical Justice, which sends doctors to the centres, said more than half of the children in the 141 cases it had looked at since April 2004 suffered psychological harm, with symptoms including bed wetting, loss of bowel control, heightened anxiety and food refusal.
Six of these expressed suicidal ideas and three girls tried to end their lives, the report said.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described the detention of children as a "moral outrage" earlier this year and the Government plans to end child detention as soon as possible.
Jon Burnett, author of the charity's State Sponsored Cruelty report, said: "The dossier of evidence we are publishing brings to light the extent to which detaining children causes harm, suffering and anguish.
"Children have attempted to end their own lives, and have been left seriously physically and psychologically damaged."
The Medical Justice report said 74 of the children were psychologically harmed and 92 reported physical health problems which were either exacerbated or caused by their detention, including fever, vomiting and abdominal pains.
"Some children were left in severe pain," the charity said.
It also found 48 of the children witnessed violence, mostly during attempts to remove them from the UK, and 13 were physically harmed as a result of violence in detention.
And 38 children were separated from their families, sometimes after parents were put in isolation having voiced concerns about the way their children were being treated, the charity said.