Children Bill — The National Asylum Support Service and Immigration Centres must ensure the welfare of children — rejected — 15 Jul 2004 at 16:15

The majority Not-Contents rejected an amendment[1] to the Children Bill. The amendment would have required regional offices of the National Asylum Support Service and the centre manager of an immigration removal centre to "safeguard and promote the welfare of children"[2].

In moving the amendment Earl Howe explained that:

  • 'Refugee children are specifically mentioned as being children in the greatest need, yet the agencies which are charged with looking after them are excluded from the duty in Clause 8 to safeguard and promote children's welfare... Why on earth should refugee children be denied the same rights and protection as other children in the UK?'[3]

However, the government argued that the amendment:

  • 'would provide another basis for exploiting the appellate and judicial review systems by arguing that the detention of asylum-seeking families with children is not compatible with safeguarding children or promoting their welfare.'[4]

The Children Bill became law in 2004. Its main aims were to:[5]

  • Create the post of Children's Commissioner for England
  • Allow the government to create an electronic record of every child in England, Scotland and Wales to make it easier for agencies to work together
  • Ensure all public services cooperate on child welfare
  • Oblige all local councils to create the post of director of children's services


Debate in Parliament | Historical Hansard | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Not-Content)Minority (Content)Turnout
Bishop0 13.8%
Con0 37 (+2 tell)18.4%
Crossbench4 1511.0%
Green0 1100.0%
Lab92 (+2 tell) 046.3%
LDem0 3145.6%
UUP0 1100.0%
Total:96 8627.2%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

Lords for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible lord who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Party | Vote

Lord Bhatia Crossbenchno
Baroness Boothroyd Crossbenchno
Lord May of OxfordCrossbenchno
Baroness O'Neill of BengarveCrossbenchno

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