Showing support for young asylum seekers | Letters

Readers on the colouring book that cartoonists created for refugees

I was heartened to read Harriet Sherwood’s article on the production of a colouring book by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation (Cartoonists create colouring book for refugees in rebuff to UK government, 22 September ). This is a counter to the mean-spirited actions of Robert Jenrick, who had a mural of cartoon characters at a migrants’ reception centre painted over as he considered it too welcoming for children. I share the outrage of the cartoonist Guy Venables, but took some small comfort in the fact that I thought it was impossible for the actions of a government minister to sink any lower. How wrong I was. Diane Taylor’s article on the same day (Fear of X-ray age tests in UK ‘may force child asylum seekers to flee’, 22 September ) describes Ministry of Justice and Home Office proposals to carry out medical tests involving X-rays and MRI scans to determine the ages of young asylum seekers.

It is no exaggeration to say that these proposals plumb new depths of abhorrence, even for the most depraved members of this government. The notion of using any medical tests for non-medical purposes is unethical at the very least, and violates the human rights of any children who refuse to be subjected to such tests. In addition, the use of such medical equipment restricts their use for medical purposes and requires medically trained staff to operate them. I fervently hope that all medical staff will refuse to do so.
Alan Beamish
Thirlby, North Yorkshire

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