A Vietnamese boy has been awarded £85,000 in compensation from the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice after he was illegally detained at Morton Hall immigration center and sexually assaulted.
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Known as H, the boy had been trafficked by a criminal gang that forced him into growing cannabis in the UK in 2013. Yet when the property was raided by police, H was charged with cannabis cultivation and sentenced to eight months in Glen Parva young offenders institution and later sent to Morton Hall.
The government now admits that he should never have been detained as he is a victim of human trafficking. But the admission comes after another inmate sexually assaulted him.
The Guardian reports:
The Home Office must pay £82,000 to the Vietnamese national – known as H – after it admitted the teenager was being detained illegally when a fellow inmate attempted to rape him in his cell in 2016.
In addition to the Home Office payment, the Ministry of Justice has been ordered to pay £3,000 for failing to protect H while he was being detained, and for failing to launch an investigation following the assault.
The Home Office accepted during the case that it broke its own policies by continuing to detain H illegally for a further six months after the attack, despite having officially identified him as a victim of modern slavery at the time. It also continued to attempt to deport the teenager back to Vietnam.
H had disclosed that he was a victim of rape and human trafficking to doctors and staff at Morton Hall, but the centre’s management initially argued the attempted rape had not been regarded as a serious incident and H was not affected by the attack.
An investigation was only launched after lawyers from Duncan Lewis threatened legal action.
“Our client was a heartbeat away from being removed unlawfully by the home secretary, after he was falsely imprisoned for a year and subjected to sexual assault at Morton Hall immigration detention centre,” said Ahmed Aydeed, director of public law at Duncan Lewis.
“These horrific immigration detention centres deprive people of their liberty, strip them of their humanity and expose them to further abuse. They have no basis in a civilised society, and people will continue to suffer in them until the nation wakes up to the injustice of immigration detention.”
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I bet everyone in charge who took the decisions still kept their well paid jobs disgusting. Blatant disregard for a human welfare. I hope the lad gets over this an the money can help him go forward an make something of his life. Good luck xxx
Oh my God! I am so sorry that this happened to H. I cannot believe how twisted and corrupt people in charge of these places are. How could they with clear conscience have ignored what they must have realised was so wrong on so many levels? I would suggest that they discharge all those employees. Sweep clean and get people in place that understand that as humans we all have basic human rights that should not be violated. There needs to be a new consensus of feeling for this in peril. Close it
Here in Australia our government have been keeping refugees & asylum seekers in a vicious regime of indefinite detention. Some ‘detainees,’ children, became self-harming, others catatonic & suicidal due to lack of hope. Refugees who needed serious medical care were denied it. Only when thousands of us protested these conditions were the children gradually removed. Our Liberal gvernment still flouts international law, the UN, our own Human Rights Commision & Doctors Without Borders
This inhuman treatment will only stop when the Home Secretary or his Junior Ministers are faced with prosecution for Crimes against Humanity when situations like this are uncovered
It is totally unacceptable for this to have happened to the lad, I’m very glad that lawyers have enabled him to call the government to account. I hope he is able to recover from these experiences and build a life for himself.