Published on Thu Jan 13 18:07:45 GMT 2011
Failed asylum seekers have won the right to claim damages which could run into thousands of pounds after the High Court ruled three young children were held at an immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire unlawfully.
The ruling was a legal victory for the mothers - Reetha Suppiah, 37, a Malaysian nurse, and Sakinat Bello, 25, a Nigerian national - who brought the legal challenge.
Both said a lack of safeguards at Yarl's Wood in Bedfordshire, the UK's main removal centre for women and minors, led to their children suffering distress and trauma.
Mr Justice Wyn Williams, sitting in London, ruled the Government's current policy on detaining families with children pending deportation was not unlawful, but - in these cases - it had not been applied by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) "with the rigour it deserves".
As a result, "the claimants were detained unlawfully from the time they were taken into custody until their release" and they were entitled to claim damages.
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