Monday, July 19, 2010

State child abuse in the UK

Another victory for freedom of information in the UK, with the government forced to reveal its manual on Physical Control in Care provided to private contractors running "secure training centres" - effectively privatised youth prisons. And the contents are horrifying, with guards instructed to:

  • "Use an inverted knuckle into the trainee's sternum and drive inward and upward."
  • "Continue to carry alternate elbow strikes to the young person's ribs until a release is achieved."
  • "Drive straight fingers into the young person's face, and then quickly drive the straightened fingers of the same hand downwards into the young person's groin area."
Remember, these are children they are talking about. And the guards are being instructed to beat and torture them, potentially with lasting or even fatal results, not for self-defence but to maintain "discipline". Kids have died while being subjected to these techniques. Others have suffered broken bones, or been humiliated and driven to suicide.

The Children's Rights Alliance for England has called the manual "state authorisation of institutionalised child abuse". They're right. If parents did this sort of thing, they'd go to jail. And the same should apply to the staff in these facilities.