Immigration Detention in the UK

2015 Sept 29 Migration ObservatoryMigration Observatory: This briefing provides an overview of immigration detention in the UK. It discusses the size of the UK’s detention facilities, the number of detainees, the average duration of detention, and the detention of children. Feb 2015.

Key Points

  • The UK immigration detention estate is one of the largest in Europe. From 2009 until the end of 2013, between 2,000 and 3,500 migrants have been in detention at any given time.
  • Around 30,000 persons entered detention in 2013 compared to approximately 29,000 persons in 2012.
  • The majority of immigration detainees are held for less than two months.
  • The single most common category of immigration detainees is people who have sought asylum in the UK at some point.
  • Over 1,000 children were detained for the purpose of immigration control in 2009, and this number was reduced to just under 130 in 2011. It rose to 240 in 2012, before falling to 228 in 2013 with the majority detained at the Cedars pre-departure accommodation facility, opened in September 2011.
  • In late 2014 the estimated average cost of detention was ¬£97 per day Continue reading “Immigration Detention in the UK”

Seeking Sanctuary

‘Each human life is precious in the eyes of God’¬†:¬†

Seeking Sanctuary –¬†promoting awareness of migrants near our shores and providing humanitarian assistance to migrants in Calais.

Welcome to the website of’Seeking Sanctuary’.¬†We are a small Kent based organisation promoting awareness of the plight of migrants and asylum seekers on our doorstep in Calais and beyond. We provide humanitarian assistance for the migrants currently stranded in Calais.

‘Each human life is precious – and as many parts of the world fall into chaos we must redouble our efforts to ensure that the needs and rights of vulnerable human beings¬† from war torn countries who need sanctuary ¬†are valued and respected. Our partners in Calais much appreciate the concern evident from our side of the Channel.’

Ben Bano, ‘Seeking Sanctuary”We must all learn to live together like brothers; otherwise we will die together like idiots’¬†(sign outside the home of Adam, a resident in the ‘jungle’) Continue reading “Seeking Sanctuary”

CRC: Reforming support for failed asylum seekers and other illegal migrants

Churches’ Refugee Network:  HOME OFFICE CONSULTATION ON Reforming support for failed asylum seekers and other illegal migrants: 2015 CRC response

We respond to this consultation as an ecumenical network of churches engaged in ministry to asylum seekers and refugees based on our strategic location in local communities across the UK.¬† We believe that, in our society, collective moral concern must go alongside collective moral responsibility¬† –¬† and that Christian social and political reflection is part of the national discernment.

Our starting-point is the theological affirmation that every human being is created in God‚Äôs image.¬† When we treat any one with less than proper dignity and respect, we are guilty of wronging them.¬† This high evaluation of the worth and dignity of each human being is the indispensable context for evaluating the actions of any State, including the UK.¬† Each person seeking asylum is an individual, not a number, and each individual‚Äôs circumstances and claims needs proper attention. Continue reading “CRC: Reforming support for failed asylum seekers and other illegal migrants”

Genious – please join: Refugees Crossing

2015 Sept 23 boat project

‘They need and deserve our help’: introducing the Refugees Crossing art project

Tucked away in bus stops, on trains and at pedestrian crossings across UK cities and towns, Bern O’Donoghue’s paper boat art project is challenging the use of derogatory language and misinformation about refugees, migrants and immigrants

Some of the 2,800 boats representing the people who have died in 2015 trying to cross the Mediterranean¬†¬†Some of the 2,800 boats representing the people who have died in 2015 trying to cross the Mediterranean Photograph: Bern O’Donoghue

‚ÄúDoes Europe have a migrant crisis or are we just trying to ignore a humanitarian crisis?‚ÄĚ

Over the last few months Bern O‚ÄôDonoghue has been unhappy about what she sees as an unethical position the UK government has taken on the refugee crisis. ‚ÄúThe language used by the government to describe the refugees, and the unwillingness to offer more help to people arriving in Europe asking for basic human rights has left me ashamed.‚ÄĚ

In order to challenge the use of derogatory language and misinformation about refugees, migrants and immigrants, O‚ÄôDonoghue has created the art projectRefugees Crossing, asking people to put fact filled paper boats in places where people travel and congregate. ‚ÄúWe all need to help these people and engage the government to take a more compassionate position. Each paper boat has a fact about refugees on them. I‚Äôd like the boats to be seen in towns and cities across the UK, to remind people that refugees need and deserve our help.‚ÄĚ Continue reading “Genious – please join: Refugees Crossing”

Detention Forum: Unlocking detention

Detention ForumUnlocking Detention project has started this week, so please watch out for the Detention Forum’s Twitter and also use#unlocked15¬†as the hashtag if you want to participate.

I attach¬†#unlocked15 image¬†for you to use on Twitter – please encourage your followers to follow the tweets.¬† We do ‘tours’ twice a day.

Also please retweet if you can Рyou can follow all the Unlocking Detention tweets at the website
Some of the¬†highlights¬†so far are as below –

Still Human Still Here – updates

Still human still hereThe Immigration Bill: The Home Office will publish a summary of those responses in due course.
The Immigration Bill with explanatory notes can be found at:
Further Home Office documents on the Bill (including an Overarching impact assessment, Overview factsheet and Delegated powers memorandum), can be found at:

MEPs give go-ahead to relocate an additional 120,000 asylum seekers in the EU

PLENARY SESSION¬†Press release –¬†Immigration¬†‚ąí¬†17-09-2015 – 11:04.An emergency proposal to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers from Italy, Greece and Hungary among EU member states was backed by Parliament on Thursday. The first temporary emergency rules for relocating an initial 40,000 over two years from Italy and Greece only were approved by Parliament on 9 September.

Parliament’s backing in record time of the European Commission’s 9 September proposal to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers sends a clear signal to EU home affairs ministers, who meet again on Tuesday 22 September, that it is high time to act and finally agree on this second emergency scheme.

Under the Commission proposal, additional 120,000 asylum seekers would be relocated from Italy (15,600), Greece (50,400) and Hungary (54,000). This number comes on top of the initial scheme to relocate¬†40,000 asylum seekers, approved by Parliament on 9 September¬†and endorsed by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 14 September The total number of people to be relocated is thus 160,000. Continue reading “MEPs give go-ahead to relocate an additional 120,000 asylum seekers in the EU”

Government rules require Health Service to charge destitute people

nhsA QARN member writes: A destitute asylum seekers came into our project today with an invoice from a hospital for outpatient attendances with a letter that says “the above account will be referred to our debt collecting agency if payment is not made within the next seven days.¬†This¬†is because of new government guidance¬†issued sometime this year:

Guidance on implementing the overseas visitor hospital charging regulations 2015

Although ‘GPs have discretion to accept any person, including overseas visitors, to be either fully registered as a measure of an NHS patient, or as a temporary resident if they are to be in an area for between 24 hours and three months. No registration application can be refused on the grounds of race, gender, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, diversity or¬†medical condition. In reality, this means that the practice‚Äôs discretion to refuse a patient is limited. There is no minimum period that a person needs to have been in the UK before a GP can register them. Furthermore, GPs have a duty to provide free of charge treatment which they consider to be immediately necessary or emergency, regardless of whether that person is an overseas visitor or registered with that practice.’ Continue reading “Government rules require Health Service to charge destitute people”