The UK’s approach to immigration detention is unique.
The UK detains more migrants than any other European country except Greece. The UK is alone in detaining them indefinitely, without time limit, without trial, sometimes for years on end. The UK is the only country in Europe which routinely detains migrants in prisons, a practice considered unlawful in the rest of the EU. The UK is alone in detaining large number of asylum seekers, simply for administrative convenience in processing their cases. Finally, the UK is generating a unique quantity of evidence of the harm done to migrants by detention.
Detention Action believes that immigration detention is one of the most important civil liberties issues in the UK today. We believe that political priorities to detain and deport have overridden practical considerations of effectiveness, as well as a basic concern for those detained. And that’s why we are fighting for an end to this unfair, disproportionate and unnecessary loss of liberty. We have three key campaigns:
The UK is the only country in the European Union that imprisons people for years with no time limit in immigration detention centres. Many migrants in detention are unreturnable and ultimately are released – their detention serves no purpose, yet costs them years of their lives. In a time of austerity, the cost to the tax payer is also unjustifiable.
On the Detained Fast Track (DFT) asylum process, people are detained simply for claiming asylum from persecution. They lose their liberty solely for the administrative convenience of the Home Office. Poor safeguards mean many people with complex cases – like survivors of torture, trafficking, gender-based violence and homophobic persecution – are regularly detained on the DFT, whilst delayed and limited access to legal advice mean many of them are refused protection.
Detention Action is currently challenging the Home Office’s operation of Detained Fast Track in the High Court so that we can end this injustice. Find out more about the Detained Fast Track and the latest updates in our litigation against it, here.