House of Commons Library paper: Immigration Detention in the UK – An Overview

‘There is a large body of NGO and academic literature on the harmful
effects of immigration detention’ says the August 2018 paper from the House of Commons Library.

This paper provides an overview of the policy and practice of immigration detention in the UK.

It also addresses long standing criticisms as well as the recent reforms designed to reduce the numbers of vulnerable people detained and the duration of detention.

The paper finds:

  • Pregnant women may not be detained for longer than 72 hours, though this may be extended up to a week in total with Ministerial approval
  • There is a lack of transparency about the use of detention and conditions in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), including the treatment of detainees and the conduct of detention centre staff
  • The Government asserts that detention and removal are essential to ensure effective immigration control, and insists it understands the need for the = maintenance of dignity and respect
  • The appropriateness of a vulnerable person’s detention will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. There is a clear presumption that detention will not be appropriate if a person is considered to be ‘at risk’.

Read the full report.