All Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Detention is calling for submissions by 25 June 2021. Details below:
Background: The APPG on Immigration Detention is conducting an inquiry into the UK Government’s use of large-scale institutional sites, such as former military barracks and a temporarily ‘de-designated’ Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), as asylum accommodation.
Such sites replicate many of the features found in detained settings, including isolation from the wider community, visible security measures, and reduced levels of privacy and control/agency for residents. The inquiry therefore refers to them as sites of ‘quasi-detention’.
The inquiry will seek to understand concerns about the suitability of these types of sites for accommodating people seeking asylum, bearing in mind the potential histories of torture, trafficking and/or other forms of serious trauma, and the ongoing health and legal needs of such individuals. It will gather written and oral evidence on the topic, and issue a report with key findings and recommendations.
The UK Government recently published plans to introduce ‘asylum reception centres’, stating that the centres will provide people seeking asylum with ‘basic’ accommodation whilst also assessing their claims. The APPG hopes that the findings and recommendations from its inquiry can be used to inform the debate on this future proposal, whilst also assessing the situation as it currently stands.
Written evidence – scope
The APPG invites individuals and organisations with relevant information to submit written evidence to the inquiry.
Written evidence submissions should focus on the use of former military facilities (Penally Camp, Napier Barracks and RAF Coltishall); ‘de-designated’ IRCs (Tinsley House IRC) and any additional proposed similar sites (site adjacent to Yarl’s Wood IRC; site at Barton Stacey). For reasons of scope, the use of hotels and other forms of accommodation will not be covered by the inquiry.
Submissions should answer the questions below. You do not need to answer all questions in your submission – just those about which you or your organisation have relevant information.
- Who has been / is being accommodated at the site(s) and for how long?
- What are the key features of the site(s) that generate concern, and how do these features impact on residents, with regard in particular to their:
- Physical health?
- Mental health?
- Ability to access legal advice, to challenge their placement in such accommodation, and to exercise their right to claim asylum?
- Ability to access specialist support e.g. for victims of trafficking, age disputed minors, etc?
- What mechanisms, if any, exist at the site(s) to identify and safeguard vulnerable people, and are these mechanisms adequate?
- What changes, if any, have been observed in the way that the asylum/immigration claims of residents at the site(s) are being processed, and what implications might these changes have?
- What questions arise with regard to the lawfulness of the site(s)?
- What effect do the site(s) and any changes in processing observed at them have on the known backlog of pending asylum claims and the number of people seeking asylum left ‘in limbo’?
- What recommendations (both short-term and long-term) do you have for the government regarding the site(s) and others like them?
- Any other issues generating concern not covered by the above?
The APPG welcomes submissions from a range of stakeholders, including but not limited to: current/former residents of the sites; other experts-by-experience; statutory monitoring bodies; local authorities; health providers; non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and law firms.
The deadline for submitting written evidence is 5pm on Friday 25 June 2021.
Your written evidence submission should be no longer than 3,000 words maximum. It should be sent as a Word document by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The APPG plans to publish all submissions received on its website, including the name of the individual / organisation that has written it.
If you would prefer for your submission to be anonymous (i.e. published on the website, but without the name of the individual / organisation) or to remain confidential (i.e. read by the APPG but not published on the website), please specify this in your document.
If you any questions about the APPG and/or its inquiry, please email Elspeth Macdonald at email@example.com
The APPG recognises the time and resources involved in writing submissions. We thank all participants in advance for their contributions.