Detention Action responds to the second Shaw Review

July 24, 2018

Stephen Shaw’s long-awaited second review into immigration detention – Assessment of government progress in implementing the report on the welfare in detention of vulnerable persons – was released today, with an accompanying statement by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

The report details the changes that have been made to detention policy and practice since the first Shaw review was released in 2016. In response, the government has committed to ‘picking up the pace of reform’, committing to conducting a review into detention time limits and piloting an alternative-to-detention scheme for women who would otherwise be detained at Yarl’s Wood.

Responding, Detention Action Acting Director Tamsin Alger said:

“Stephen Shaw’s second report underlines the urgent need for detention reform. The government continues to detain far too many people for far too long.

“Shaw acknowledged the ‘deeply troubling’ length of time that people spend in detention and every day we hear about the damage caused. Over half of people detained are ultimately released into the community, their detention having served no purpose.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to exploring community-based alternatives to detention and a review into a time limit. Such initiatives must be part of a radical reduction in the use of detention.

“This demands a broad and urgent change in culture which upholds the rights and dignity of all migrants and a move towards an immigration system based on engagement rather than enforcement. It is vital that the government engages with civil society and migrants themselves to ensure that the commitments given today lead to meaningful change on the ground.”

Mishka from Freed Voices said:

“The second Shaw review is something we have been anticipating for two years. It provides yet more evidence that it is time for radical detention reform, the introduction of a 28-day time limit, and a great reduction of the UK’s detention estate by implementing alternatives to detention. I hope that the Home Office gives due scrutiny to this report and implements these recommendations promptly and without any delay.”

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