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Comedian Dom Joly has joined forces with Save the Children to urge MPs to reconsider their vote on the Illegal Migration Bill and show compassion to children seeking refuge.

Following the controversial decision made by the Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, to have murals of cartoon characters painted over at an asylum seeker reception centre, Dom Joly appeared as an iconic children’s cartoon character outside the Home Office today with his helper painters and decorators, to send a clear message to MPs: “Stop Child Detention.” 

Through the Illegal Migration Bill, which MPs are voting on, the Government plans to increase the time children can be placed in immigration detention, which is currently 24 hours. Under the new provisions, children can be detained from 8 days to an indefinite period. Save the Children warns this will do further harm to children who have been forced to take dangerous routes to seek safety.


Ahead of the vote this week, the Save the Children Ambassador, Dom Joly said: “The Illegal Migration Bill does nothing to protect children fleeing the horrors of war, and we must do everything we can to have these inhume decisions overturned.

“Right now, the government’s priority should be the welfare of vulnerable children seeking asylum, but instead they are intent on creating a hostile environment. Seeking refuge is not a crime. Children have every right to have a bright future. We need to stop this Mickey Mouse Bill now.”

Alastair Russell, Head of Public Affairs at Save the Children UK, said: “The Illegal Migration Bill, which MPs are voting on, will do nothing to stop the boats. The only way to prevent children and families from risking their lives in dangerous journeys is to offer safe and legal routes to asylum.

“We are particularly concerned by the Bill’s proposed expansion of child detention, which is never in children’s best interests and can do them significant psychological and developmental damage. MPs must reject this callous Bill and retain the existing restrictions on child detention.”


For further enquiries please contact our media out of hours (BST) media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409

Photos and video available to download here: www.contenthubsavethechildren.org/Package/2O4C2SZSMP9M