Janipher Maseko was separated from her two week old son by Immigration officials, in May 2007. The Black Women’s Rape Action Project successfully brought her treatment to light on the world stage, and they and Nursing Matters co-ordinated a global campaign to have her children returned, and her son back at the breast as quickly as possible.
International lactation consultants and paediatricians campaigned directly to 10 Downing Street, with Medical Justice taking a front role in organising support from the medical professions. An international alert was launched, with Baby Milk Action publicising the issues on their website. Janipher did manage to maintain her milk supply with the pump Morgan Gallagher brought to her and successfully re-established exclusive breastfeeding with her son. They were released from Yarl’s Wood shortly after the children were returned and Janipher is still waiting for a final decision on her asylum claim.
An apology for the separation of a breastfeeding baby from its mother, was given in the House of Lords by Baroness Scotland. Janipher and the children continue to be supported by BWRAP and all the other individuals and agencies who fought so hard to have her children returned as quickly as possible.