Without Detention

Without Detention (2016)

The report outlines how international and UK good practices could be built on to develop a systematic approach to migration governance that avoids the use of detention wherever possible, prioritising meaningful engagement with migrants over harmful and costly enforcement.

The State of Detention

The State of Detention (2014)

Detention can be seen in many ways: through official statistics, legal judgments, monitoring reports, visits to detention centres, or through being detained yourself. This report brings together and reflects on many of these partial perspectives on detention, in order to understand the key problems of the detention system.

End the indefinite detention of unreturnable migrants

Point of no return: the futile detention of unreturnable migrants (2014)

Twenty unreturnable migrants, detained for a forced deportation that can never happen, tell their stories.  A report by Detention Action, Flemish Refugee Action, France Terre d’Asile, Menedek and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.

Article 8: the right to love

The right to love and the Immigration Bill (2013)

The right to family life for migrants will be ended by the new Immigration Bill. Write to your MP asking them to vote against the Bill.

Fast track to despair

Detained Fast Track – a short briefing paper (2013)

This briefing summarises the problems with the Detained Fast Track, including in the words of asylum-seekers who are going through it.

Fast Track to Despair: the unnecessary detention of asylum seekers (2011)

The report uncovered long periods in which asylum seekers are detained unnecessarily at the start of the process, undermining the rationale for a “fast” asylum process. The tight timescales when the process starts, combined with high security detention conditions and the confusion experienced by asylum-seekers, severely inhibit their ability to prepare an asylum claim.

The economic cost of immigration detention

The financial waste of long-term detention – briefing (2013)

The Home Office is wasting £75 million per year by detaining migrants who are ultimately released.  Limited detention space could be more efficiently used if case owners “get it right” initially by only detaining migrants who can be deported within a lawful and reasonable period.

Matrix Evidence – an Economic Analysis of Alternatives to long-term detention (2012)

The research finds that supporting these migrants in the community would cost around £1 million per year, if they are not granted the right to work.  However, these costs are dwarfed by savings of £76 million per year that would come with the reduced use of expensive detention space, as well as unlawful detention payments. These savings are equivalent to the costs of at least three detention centres.

Ending detention with no time limit publications

Somalia: Indefinite detention and deportation (2013)

A short briefing that explains why people can’t currently be removed to Somalia and the effect that being held in detention with no time limit has on Somali people, many of whom came to the UK as young children.

Indefinite detention briefing (2012)

A short briefing outlining the issues surrounding detenti0n without a time limit.

Foreign ex-offenders indefinite detention briefing (2011)

A short briefing paper which explains why ex-offenders are detained for months or often years.

No Release No Return No Reason: challenging indefinite detention (2010)
The report demonstrates that the indefinite detention of migrants who cannot be deported is ineffective, inefficient and enormously damaging.

Detained Lives: the real cost of indefinite detention (2009)
The report presents evidence of the ineffectiveness and the human cost of the practice of indefinite detention.


Dossiers for legal representatives

In August 2007, Detention Action published evidence that Iranian and Algerians without passports or other ID are being refused travel documents by their embassies, meaning that they cannot return. As a result, many are spending unnecessarily long periods in detention. In many cases, detainees are repeatedly told at bail hearings that they will be removed within a specified period, but no removal takes place.

The full dossiers are available by request, and are free for detainees or their legal representatives.

Similar dossiers were published in early 2006 on Mauritania and Niger and late 2006 on Sierra Leone. In each case, all Detention Action clients from those countries were released shortly after the publication of the dossiers.

Parliamentary Briefings and submissions

Immigration Bill Committee Time-Limit briefing

Immigration Bill 2015 committee stage briefing

Immigration Bill 2015 2nd reading briefing

Indefinite Detention Parliamentary briefing

Parliamentary Inquiry on Detention briefing

Detained Fast Track Parliamentary briefing

Parliamentary briefing: Indefinite detention – a waste of lives and money (2011)

Parliamentary briefing: The detention of foreign national ex-offenders (2011)

Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants (2012)