Brutal and unlawful detention

Brutal and unlawful detention


Written by: Jacob Chamberlain

Corporate Watch has produced a thorough analysis of UK immigration detention policies by examining the detention of children and families at Yarl’s Wood removal centre.

The report Immigration Prisons: Brutal, Unlawful, and Profitable: Yarl’s Wood a case study examines the procedures at the centre, the closure of the family unit,[1] and the implications for the future of immigration detention. Corporate Watch analyses the inconsistencies between UK Border Agency (UKBA) policies and actions as the UK government professes to end child detention.

According to Corporate Watch, Yarl’s Wood was the main ‘immigration prison’ for women and children and has been heavily criticised in the past for its overcrowding, physical abuse, privacy infringement, communications restrictions, poor medical care, and so on. As a result of a campaign by many organisations (churches, charities, campaigning groups) and individuals the current Con-Dem coalition supposedly ended child detention and the family unit at Yarl’s Wood was closed; however, as Corporate Watch finds, inhumane and unlawful detention continues in the UK.

Immigration Prisons: Brutal, Unlawful, and Profitable lays out the evidence that backs up its assertions that immigration detention is inhumane in almost all cases and is frequently unlawful and that detention in the UK has become a tool to discourage people from coming to the UK, rather than a tool to manage their influx.

Related links

Corporate Watch

‘Child detention still inhumane’

‘Does Barnardo’s legitimise child detention?’

[1] According to Home Office figures four children under the age of 17 were detained at Tinsley House near Gatwick airport in March 2011, one child aged 17 was detained at Brook House (near Gatwick airport) and one child aged 12-16 was detained at Colnbrook, see 'Children entering detention held solely under Immigration Act powers March 2011'. Immigration Prisons: Brutal, Unlawful, and Profitable: Yarl's Wood a case study, Corporate Watch, March 2011, download the briefing here (pdf file, 628kb).

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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