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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.


‘How do we get out if there’s a fire?’ In Yorkshire, G4S tenants live in fear

Security company G4S housed six families with babies and toddlers in a fire-trap hostel in Halifax.

High Court blasts ‘outrageous’ assault by Tascor staff on torture survivor

Highly unusual punitive damages awarded to Felix Wamala, who was subjected to intensely painful, dangerous restraint techniques.

Fit to run a prison? G4S dodges difficult questions

At a locked down shareholders’ meeting, security company boss sidestepped hard questions, praised BBC exposé of abuse.

‘If I’d known what to ask for, I wouldn’t have gone hungry’

When Theresa May’s Britain grants asylum, a brutal 28 day countdown starts.

Money talks: Meet three people who want to live in the UK

Government visa fees tell would-be immigrants that in the UK, money talks ...

Theresa May’s tough line on immigration punishes British children

“To them it’s just another number, someone else being sent back. But when you’ve got three children being left without their dad …  it’s quite major.”

Refuse, retract, resist: boycott the schools census

As the British state tries to make a register of foreign-born children, parents should question a liberal trust in government and reject borders in classrooms. An interview with Gargi Bhattacharyya.

17 plead not guilty over Stansted deportation protest

Defendants contest public order charges arising from protest that stopped a Home Office removal flight.

Behave or get deported, says G4S

EXCLUSIVE: The world’s biggest security company, landlord to asylum-seekers, threatens tenants with expulsion from the UK.

5 reasons why we stopped a UKgov deportation flight to Nigeria last night

As a government ghost flight prepared for take-off, activists intervened.

Sheffield campaigner scheduled for life-threatening removal to Cameroon on Friday

Paul Blomfield MP works to avert deportation of Pride Mbi Agbor, a popular member of Yorkshire’s City of Sanctuary movement. 

Child was held for a staggering 151 days in men’s immigration lockup Morton Hall in Lincolnshire

Today’s inspection report reveals that children were detained among 400 adults. One detainee had been convicted of multiple offences against children. (See also: 'People come in here normal, but they get ill')

‘People come in here normal, but they get ill.’ Protesting against deaths at a UK migrant jail

Intrusive police surveillance deployed against peaceful protestors at Morton Hall. (See also: Child held for 151 days at Morton Hall)

Fighting to win asylum from rape: the case of Erioth Mwesigwa

Today, Monday 20 February, at 4.30pm, a protest has been called outside the Home Office against the removal and detention of Erioth Mwesigwa, a rape survivor from Uganda.

Fail, fail, and have another government contract

Security contractors G4S and Serco and housing company Clearsprings have for years supplied UK asylum seekers with shoddy housing. The contracts carry on regardless.

The end of domestic violence support for black and brown women in the UK?

Dedicated refuges were created to answer a desperate need. Now their survival is at risk. 

The seeds of post-Brexit racial violence lie in government policy

Racist attacks are condemned by politicians who stop short of examining their complicity. New research suggests policy ignites hatred.

Welcome to my asylum home. I’d offer you a seat — if I had one

Meanwhile a parliamentary inquiry into asylum housing lumbers on over ten months . . . and today in Leeds the Home Office holds yet another 'consultation' on a sorry business.

Delayed lives — the hidden misery of stateless people locked up in the UK

Alienated, homeless, denied the right to work, criminalised.

Lost childhoods: age disputes in the UK asylum system

Children seeking asylum in the UK are regularly disbelieved about how old they are and can end up facing harmful, protracted disputes. The culture of disbelief so often criticised in the Home Office has now seeped into some local authorities.

Theresa May, this is not a ‘crisis of migration’, but a crisis of inhumanity

In a carefully coded speech, the UK Prime Minister categorises people on the move as “threats that we face” alongside war and global terrorism.

A special gift from UK to Nigeria: promoting human rights or secrecy?

At Lagos Airport, Nigerians deported from Britain are processed out of sight in a ‘reception centre’ given by Britain.

Rats in the yard: 4 years of UK asylum housing by G4S

Today, yet again, a Parliamentary committee will hear how commercial landlords are failing asylum seeker tenants. And then what?

Do your parenting by Skype, UK tells fathers being deported to Jamaica

A secret Home Office flight tomorrow (Wednesday 7 September) will forcibly remove fathers 4,500 miles away from their children in the UK.

Rough handling and restraint: UK forced removals still a nasty business

A support group gathers disturbing testimony from people deported by commercial contractors Tascor.

Theresa May's dangerous record on immigration

Theresa May's time as home secretary was marked by the further marginalisation of immigrants in this society. In a diverse nation, it's worrying that such a person becomes prime minister.

G4S: Don't blame us — blame the prison system

An activist reports from G4S annual general meeting, Surrey, England, 26 May 2016.

British security company G4S confirms that Florida shooter is one of their own

  • • Omar Mateen, who killed 50 people in gay nightclub, was employed as armed guard by G4S.
  • • G4S guards have killed before.
  • • Company sells its expertise in vetting staff.

Ghosted away: UK’s secret removal flights examined

On Home Office flights private sector guards apply restraints so extreme they are very rarely used in prisons. What happened on the 24/25 May flight to Nigeria and Ghana?

Inquest jury finds failures in detainee healthcare

An MRI brain scan that was wrongly cancelled might have led to life-saving treatment for Bruno Dos Santos, who died aged 25 in the care of UK immigration authorities.

Cancelled brain scan could have saved UK immigration detainee

Inquest, Day Four: Neurologist testifies that he might have saved 25 year old Bruno Dos Santos. 

Private healthcare company Care UK cancelled immigration detainee’s brain scan

Jury hears that HMP Thameside staff didn’t know the rules concerning hospital appointments. Bruno Dos Santos Inquest, Day Three. 

G4S promises (again) to repaint asylum seeker red doors and relocate families at risk

Four months after 'red doors' scandal broke, security company says it really will stop making asylum seekers’ homes so easy to locate and attack.

Doubts over cause of death of man, 25, at remote UK immigration lockup

Day Two of the inquest into the death of Bruno Dos Santos.

Medicines untaken, appointments missed by young man who died at immigration lockup

Jury hears of ‘chaotic’ and ‘stressful time’ at the Verne immigration removal centre. Day One of the inquest into the death of Bruno Dos Santos.

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