"Child locked up at removal centre in mortal fear"

Bruno Vanobbergen, the children's rights commissioner, has voiced concern about the children locked up in the asylum centre 127bis at Steenokkerzeel.  For the first time in ten years families with children are being incarcerated at the centre ahead of removal.

Family units have been constructed at the centre to house family groups awaiting expulsion.  Mr Vanobbergen was not pleased with what he saw: "Logistically everything's OK.  There's a psychologist, coach and teacher."

But his visit to a Serbian family made him worried: "The law stipulates that a report must be drawn up about the physical and psychological integrity of the children.  In the report the paediatrician states that the eldest child is experiencing great anguish."

The other children too are stressed.  Mr Vanobbergen is also concerned about the length of the detention: 20 days so far.  He is worried about the confusion that surrounds the children's future: "The family are Romas and they are confronted with a lot of aggression in Serbia.  At present there are too few guarantees for their future."