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MANCHESTER SUPPORTS CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT CHILDREN OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

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Manchester City Council has pledged its support to a national campaign being run ...
Manchester City Council has pledged its support to a national campaign being run
by charity Save the Children which calls on the UK Government to better protect
the interests and safety of the children of asylum seekers.
Specifically the Council is joining the charity's campaign requesting the
Government to withdraw the reservation it placed on immigration and nationality
when it signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in
1991.
The reservation held that immigration laws should take precedent over the needs
of the child, but the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child - and the City
Council - holds that this is incompatible with the principles enshrined in the
Convention.
Councillor Marilyn Taylor, Manchester City Council?s Executive Member for Health
and Social Care, said: 'The UK Government is in a position to take a lead in
showing politicians and the public that children seeking asylum - either alone
or in families - are children first and foremost, regardless of their
immigration status.
'We would urge the Government to withdraw its reservation to the Convention on
the Rights of the Child and to ensure that the rights and welfare of children
seeking asylum are protected in the same way as those of other children.'
In particular the Council is hoping that its support for the Save the Children
campaign will see an end to the 'no choice' accommodation offered to asylum
seeking families and their children which can leave children and young people
open to racial abuse or hostility; and an end to children being detained in
centres with their parents on arrival instead of settled in family homes.
All members of the Council are being urged to show their support by returning
special post cards to Prime Minister Tony Blair asking him to act to remove the
1991 reservation.
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