Immigration detention and removal in the UK

"We were sleeping and the officer came. It was scary and Mum was crying."
"I didn’t think it was real, not real life."
"They were bashing and kicking the door."
“It’s not nice going to the toilet in front of an officer."
"They broke our house."

In early 2010 OurKingdom began to illuminate the UK’s appalling policy of arresting and detaining children in conditions known to harm them.

This journalism, sprung from the unfunded End Child Detention Now campaign, grew into our Shine A Light project, led by award-winning investigative reporter Clare Sambrook.


On the movement to shut down Yarl’s Wood

“Headbutt the bitch, I’d beat her up,” said one Serco guard, caught on camera at the notorious UK immigration removal centre. Cartoonist Lucie Kinchin on activist efforts to set the women free:

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, openDemocracy writer, shortlisted for Orwell Prize

Reporter who takes time to listen acutely to people at the sharp end of government policy is one of six shortlisted for political journalism prize.

How to survive in prison

Amid a crisis of suicides and assaults across prisons in England and Wales, one former inmate offers advice on staying safe. (See also: Danger, overcrowding, no time to talk: a UK prison officer speaks out).

Dying for Justice: black and minority ethnic deaths in custody

509 suspicious deaths of people from BME, migrant and asylum seeker communities in state custody over 23 years. Five prosecutions. Not one single conviction. A chilling report from the Institute of Race Relations.

openDemocracy writers longlisted for Orwell Prize

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi and Clare Sambrook are among 15 writers in contention for one of journalism’s highest honours.

Just how badly does the UK protect victims of trafficking?

The government claims its Modern Slavery Bill, that passed into law today, is proof that it cares about victims. So why are anti-trafficking processes letting victims down?

Meet the UK’s latest weapon against organised crime and asylum seekers

Tools and rhetoric designed to combat terrorism and serious crime are being deployed against asylum seekers and people who work with them.

UK activists prevent deportation of Afghan migrants

Activists "put their bodies on the line" to delay a deportation flight to 'unsafe' Afghanistan.

Yarl’s Wood: legal black hole

Women in Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre have become increasingly desperate as repeated rounds of legal aid cuts introduced by the UK Government have made it more difficult for them to access justice.

One bath for 12 women and 11 babies: UK asylum housing by G4S

On a suburban street in Leeds, security company G4S packs 23 women and children into one house with a single bathroom.

UK immigration detention: the truth is out

Successive governments have ignored and dismissed complaints of suffering in UK immigration lock-ups. This week, in Parliament and on national television, fresh evidence has been heard.

Death at Yarl’s Wood: Women in mourning, women in fear

Abuse at Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre is finally mainstream news. When a woman died at Yarl’s Wood in 2014, a woman who knew her inside spoke by phone to Jennifer Allsopp.

 

'Headbutt the bitch' Serco guard, Yarl’s Wood, a UK immigration detention centre

For years women locked up inside Yarl’s Wood, a UK government lock-up in Bedfordshire, have complained of racist abuse, sexual abuse and shoddy medical treatment. Now there is video evidence. WATCH ‘INSIDE YARL’S WOOD’ CHANNEL 4 NEWS

Super-rich boss vs abused maid: whose side are we on?

The UK government makes it easy for the super-rich to harm their domestic employees. One small amendment to the Modern Slavery Bill could make a big difference, but ministers seem strangely reluctant.

A green and pleasant land? The trauma of the British asylum system

The system of asylum in the UK pushes mental fortitude to its limits. 

Child locked up ‘by mistake’ for 62 days at adult immigration jail

  • New report from HM Inspectorate of Prisons on Campsfield House, run by outsourcer Mitie, reveals:
  • • 16 year old detained ‘by mistake’
  • • Torture victims held in defiance of Home Office rules
  • • Dirty, overcrowded accommodation

Capita death: Ombudsman exposed problems that Coroner failed to address, family says

Tahir Mehmood, aged 43, died in a commercially-run immigration lockup at Manchester Airport. The Coroner recorded a verdict of death by natural causes. A report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman tells a more troubling story.

Coroner finds Capita detainee died of natural causes at Manchester immigration lock-up

Tahir Mehmood’s family stunned by poor quality of medical care when detainee complained of chest pains.

Medical procedures changed after detainee’s death at Capita immigration lock-up

Coroner minded to make a ‘Report to Prevent Future Deaths’ in the case of Tahir Mehmood as medical care by UK government outsourcers comes under scrutiny at Inquest.

Capita guard: “The course did not tell me what to do if someone is not breathing”

Another inquest, another death in UK immigration detention: the case of Tahir Mehmood. Phil Miller of Corporate Watch reports from the Coroner’s Court.

Justice blindfolded? The case of Jimmy Mubenga

Following the acquittal on 16 December of the G4S guards charged with the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga, barrister Frances Webber, chair of the Institute of Race Relations, focuses on the judge’s decision to rule inadmissible evidence pointing to endemic racism within G4S.

The racist texts. What the Mubenga trial jury was not told

Jimmy Mubenga died under restraint by three G4S guards. Extreme racist texts found on two of the guards’ phones were withheld from the jury who yesterday cleared all three men of manslaughter. (Warning: this piece contains highly offensive language)

Parliamentary watchdog: too often private sector contractors' ethical standards found wanting

A culture of revenue and profit-driven performance incentives has too often been misaligned with the needs of the public who fund and depend on these services. Margaret Hodge MP writes on the Public Accounts Committee's new report on the contracting out of public services.

Allegations of assault by guards at a UK detention centre

Migrants detained out of sight in government lock-ups are uniquely vulnerable. Six miles from Oxford, at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre, detainees claim that guards have beaten a man.

Neglect and indifference kill American man in UK immigration detention

A fresh report on Brian Dalrymple’s six week incarceration paints a grim picture of how the vulnerable are treated. Harmit Athwal at the Institute of Race Relations writes.

Destitution, intimidation . . . How Britain shirks its obligations to asylum-seekers

Filthy showers, uncleared rubbish, mice infestation. The quality of housing provided to asylum seekers by commercial contractors is poor indeed, but good enough for the Home Office.

Extraordinary things: visiting the women at Yarl’s Wood detention centre

Next door to a Formula 1 car testing zone, hundreds of migrant women are kept behind bars. Heather Jones is a long-term visitor. 

#‎DontLetThemDrown‬ (It’s all right for some, at sea)

The UK government reckons that letting people drown will prevent unnecessary deaths.

'It's ok to live in poverty, it's ok to be hungry'

This quiet, shocking film reveals the penury and despair the UK government is forcing upon asylum seekers. (Video, 8 mins)

The national shame that is healthcare in UK immigration detention

Four years ago G4S was involved in the unlawful killing of an immigration detainee called Jimmy Mubenga. Now they're winning NHS contracts to care for detainees.

Immigration detention in the media: anarchy and ambivalence

Alongside calls for the reduction or ending of immigration detention, we must demand more balanced coverage from our media. Melanie Griffiths reports on two decades of ‘riots’ and fires inside Campsfield which is on track to become one of the biggest detention centres in Europe.

Homeless, abused, bereaved: when a child needs a lawyer

“When organisations like social services don’t treat you right, if you don’t have anybody, what you gonna do?” Savage cuts to legal aid leave many thousand of vulnerable children in England and Wales without legal representation.

Detained at the UK border: mould, cat calls and barbed wire

Key statutory instruments governing the use of detention do not apply to holding rooms at ports or short term holding facilities. Some 7,000 vulnerable individuals are held each year for up to 7 days in appalling conditions without proper regulation.  

A crisis of harm in immigration detention

A young Guinean woman has become the sixth victim in three years of ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ in UK immigration detention, with the High Court ruling that detention explicitly caused the disintegration of her mental health.

How children’s charity Barnardo’s locks up kids with Guantánamo contractor G4S

Britain’s leading children’s charity helps the world’s biggest security company lock up children who have committed no crime.

Syndicate content