Wean’s World

Amal Azzudin

Today is World Day for the Prevention of Abuse and Violence against Children. Tomorrow is the United Nation’s Universal Children’s Day. Yet, this weekend there are children in Scotland too afraid to go to sleep for fear of being woken by a knock on the door, or worse, because they fear they will be woken by uniform-clad officials handcuffing their mothers.

Fanciful? Not if you are a child in an asylum-seeking or refugee family. For that is what happened to Funke and Joseph last week. The UK Government has stealthily resumed dawn raids, despite Depute Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s pronouncement in July that such raids were a moral outrage. And still they go on, despite an empty promise from the ConDem government to end the forcible detention of children in July 2010 – and despite the success of the Glasgow Girls (pictured above, Amal Azzadin).

This Monday, the Unity Centre (Glasgow) is mounting a day of action and protest against the continuation of dawn raids, beginning at 10am at Festival Court outside the UKBA reporting centre and headquarters of the Immigration Enforcement Team on Brand Street. They want to make it clear to the UK authorities, the day after the world unites to promote the welfare of children, that dawn raids and the forcible detention of families is unacceptable.

And they are calling on everyone to join them, in a “colourful noisy protest”.

We might have thought that these offensive and reprehensible practices, which cause trauma and fear in innocent, vulnerable children, were a thing of the past. The Scottish Parliament, with the support of then Scottish children’s commissioner, Kathleen Marshall, have been protesting and condemning dawn raids since 2006. Nothings happened.

But if you cannot make it along to the protest, the Unity Centre is calling for people to make their views and voice heard in other ways. They are urging Scottish people to:

– contact their MSP and write to First Minister Alex Salmond MSP

Members of the Scottish Parliament have often voiced their condemnation of the practice, as have members of the Glasgow communities where asylum seekers live and also outraged members of the Scottish public. So, the Unity Centre are asking people to write and demand that the Scottish Government takes up the issue with the UK Government.

Find your MSP at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps.aspx

– contact their MP and Depute Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP

The UK Government promised to end child detention but Unity maintains they haven’t. In fact, they’ve just put the date back – again – by which they will do this. So write and demand that Nick Clegg keeps his promise to do so. Send an email or go to a local surgery and make your views known. MPs can be found here:


– contact the UK Government Children’s Minister Sarah Teather MP
and demand that she respects the rights of ALL children, including asylum seeking families. Emails can be sent to [email protected]

Protest, write, condemn, email. Add your voice to stop these traumatic and barbaric practices and help promote the welfare of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children.

Comments (10)

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  1. Alex says:

    If anyone enters our country illegally they should be removed without delay. No if’s , no and’s , no buts! If they are genuine Asylum seekers then they should be held in secure accomodation until their case is assesed – within a month! I genuine then they should be given an Initial three year period of residence after which they should be reassesed. NO ONE should be given permanent residence.
    A few simple rules will sort out the genuine from the con artists: –
    Why have they come to the UK? Which other countries have they passed through. Why did they not seek accomodation (as required by the Covention) in the first free country they passed through. What is their reason to be seeking asylum. Finance is not an acceptable reason, there has to be some political reason or threat to force them leave their own country!

    Apply the rules rigoriously and we would see a rapid end to these Asylum con artists!!

  2. bellacaledonia says:

    What a response from a nation which is characterised by traveling the world and leaving here in times of trouble and hardship. Imagine Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand and more without Scots who settled after being forced off our land? Remember Scotland needs new people – which is why the Scottish Govt set up a Fresh Talent policy a few years ago which was then undermined at a UK level. Remember also that people coming to this country want to work, not take benefits.

    Presumably you take this approach – NO ONE should be given permanent residence – and apply it to Scots overseas, and presumably you don’t know anyone living abroad?

    1. Alex says:

      Yes I am a Scot who lives a large part of the time abroad – in Portugal to be precise! Unlike the debris that you refer to, I am not dependant on the Portuguese nation for my income. I am retired with a good pension arrangement. Simply put I bring financial value to this country.
      Scots that were pushed off their land by primarily the so-called royalty and their hangers-on were genuine Asylum seekers.not financial parasites. Look to your history and learn.
      I am tottally against the financial parisites that pose a asylum seekers and live off the hard working population of this country.
      Before you support these people look very closley at their reasons. And also ask why they did not stay in the first free country they passed through AS REQUIRED BY THE CONVENTION!

      1. bellacaledonia says:

        The irony of your blind bigotry is phenomenal Alex, as is your spelling.

      2. Doug Daniel says:

        “Simply put I bring financial value to this country.”

        Mate, you’re retired, you don’t bring any value to Portugal. Oh sure, you maybe spend your pension money there, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re more valuable to Portugal than the hard-working immigrants are to Scotland. Many of our industries would be on their knees if it weren’t for immigrants doing the jobs that those born and bred here can’t or won’t do.

  3. burdzeyeview says:

    Ouch! I am confounded by your attitude Alex and that you cannot see the irony in your being a resident of Portugal commenting on who comes to live in Scotland. People flee their homelands for many reasons – women and children primarily to escape torture, war, famine and yes, poverty. I don’t care who they are, why they are here, only that it is inhumane and degrading to treat children in this way. Scotland is better than this. Or we could and should be.
    I would like to think that if I ever had to flee Scotland, another country would offer me and mine shelter. That is what good global citizens do. I’ll remember though, not to come knocking at your door, Alex.

  4. Dave Watt says:

    I’m really, really glad that I don’t live next door to, work with or have to meet Alex. My sympathies go out to those who do.

  5. Sandy Mathers says:

    ..I’m sick to death of eejits like Alex. why do you bother giving them house room….? It would be great if asylum seekers could work at their trades and be economically active. The fact is that the Brit employment laws mean that they simply forbidden to do so…

  6. Nine says:

    Nice that Alex has jumped in to have a rant without actually commenting on dawn raids or the detention of children. Thanks for your helpful remarks Alex.

    If I were able to be in Glasgow on Monday I would absolutely be there with Unity.

  7. Mairi says:

    Every time I see someone using language to describe other people such as “debris” and “parasites” it saddens me greatly. To dehumanise others in this demeans everyone. I for one don’t care how financially active someone is, there is too much emphasis put on people as financial conduits in governments in my opinion, which is yet another way of dehumanising both others and yourself.

    What I care about is that someone who comes to this country want’s to become part of it now, and shaping it’s future for the better. I believe part of being a better country is about speaking up for the poor, the vulnerable and the ignored – children making a large part of these groups.

    So, congratulations Alex. Kate has written a blog post about something that is a national disgrace, that most Scots I know are ashamed of, and would dearly lovely to have the power to change – that is dawn raids and the forced detention of children. What you have managed is to completely distract the discussion. We have been distracted from the real point of this blog and from the real work of making this country as good as it can be because you prefer to bang the drum of your own self importance and hate.

    Can we ignore the clanging of the hollow bell?

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