PREVENT interrogates children without parental consent: CAGE

London – Children across the UK are being interrogated at school on their personal beliefs and religious practice without the consent of their parents or guardians, according to CAGE’s latest case study based report ‘Consent Denied’.

The briefing paper presents four case studies that are indicative of a wider problem in which parents and guardians are kept in the dark when their children are questioned by PREVENT – only to find out after the fact, and only should their children wish to tell them.

Although PREVENT claims that consent is required, in reality this only comes into play if CHANNEL becomes involved.

This antagonistic and securitised approach threatens and alienates Muslims, especially parents and young people. Moreover, it is further evidence that PREVENT will push unpopular views underground, where they will go unchallenged.

Ibrahim Mohamoud, Communications Officer, said: 

“In its broad definitions of extremism and lack of complexity, the PREVENT duty forces educators to view their students through a securitised lens, as opposed to developing positive teacher-pupil relationships based on mutual trust where difficult ideas and issues can be discussed freely and safely.”

“Our case studies show that children are being taken away from mandatory school hours to be questioned on matters misconstrued as markers of ‘extremism’. By alienating parents, turning teachers into informants, and antagonising students, PREVENT is a divisive policy that does an injustice to the education system.”

“PREVENT is flawed since it is presented as a safeguarding measure, which implies that should parents choose not to give consent, this could be construed as supporting ‘extremism’. This mechanism forces individuals to comply with a strategy that in its broad threat to freedom of expression and thought, stands to divide society.”

Press enquiries:
Ibrahim Mohamoud
Communications officer
+(44) 207 377 6700  | press@cageuk.org
(CC Image courtesy of missy on Flikr)

NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.