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    Pediatrician worried after visiting Detention Centre 127 bis

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The children held with their mothers in the Detention Centre 127 bis in Steenokkerzeel are affected by their deprivation of freedom, says pediatrician Paulette De Backer in La Libre Belgique after having visited the premises. She is worried about their psychological care and describes a harmful environment. “Every minute, landings remind them of the finality, which is expulsion,’’ describes this head of St Pierre daily hospital emergency services.

    She is concerned by the children’s care once in Serbia (they were all born in Belgium and have never been there, Ed.): “These children will suffer a combination of traumas.’’

    Arrest by police at dawn, detention, isolation from their community… they are suffering from a feeling of rejection and injustice, and from a lack of trust in adults and the society. (…) All of this is extremely harmful and can be observed even after a few days.’’

    Paulette De Backer esteems that short or long-term psychological support is indispensable. “It should have been put in place already. These traumatic experiences could have repercussions on their cognitive development, their learning capacity, their socialization, and even their growth.’’

    After several requests for asylum and regularization, this family had been placed in a repatriation center, before escaping several times. They have now been placed in the Detention Center 127 bis. Furthermore, the mother has recently filed an asylum request for her eldest daughter. The family will remain detained during this procedure, writes La Libre Belgique.

    Andy Sanchez
    The Brussels Times