Detention Action is Returning to the London Legal Walk

Our staff members, volunteers and supporters will be taking up this 10k walk on the 18th of June.

With your help, we aim to raise funds to make sure people in immigration detention can access the legal support they urgently need.

Equality before the law is a cornerstone of our society, but people in immigration detention face serious obstacles to accessing legal representation.

  • With their smartphones confiscated, people in detention struggle to find information to help their case or contact legal firms and charities that can support them
  • People in detention are given basic phones without internet access. However, poor mobile phone reception in many detention centres makes it even harder for them to get legal advice
  • Language barriers mean people in detention aren’t always aware of their legal rights or what is happening to them

Under the Detained Duty Advice Scheme (DDAS), people in detention are entitled to a free, 30-minute session with a solicitor to discuss their cases. But, over more than a decade since its introduction, we have gathered evidence showing that the DDAS has persistently operated with fundamental defects.

People in detention are not always made aware of the DDAS or their right to free legal advice. When they are informed and actively seek advice, many still report long waiting times to see a solicitor.

This delay is particularly harmful for those with only a few days to respond to or appeal the Home Office’s decisions, as well as for individuals who are at additional risk of harm, such as people with experience of being trafficked or tortured. The longer people spend in detention, the greater the harm to their health and wellbeing.

Even after their appointment with a solicitor, many well-founded cases are not taken up due to a lack of capacity and legal aid funding among firms on the scheme.

In the face of these failings, Detention Action’s Casework Team provides timely support to people in detention by providing emotional support, informing them of their rights and connecting them to legal support, with the help of interpreters whenever needed.

By bridging the gap in access to legal representation, we can make sure people in detention have a fairer chance at justice.

Thanks to our supporters, the Detention Action team has been able to provide essential support to people in immigration detention for the past 31 years.

We need your help to keep providing that essential support.

What You Can Do

  • Sponsor our team at the London Legal Walk! You can donate here
  • Spread the word! You’re our best ambassador when it comes to building our movement. Tell your friends about what we do over a coffee, or share the news on social media.
  • Become a regular donor! Show your ongoing support by becoming a monthly donor! Just £5 a month can keep our phone lines open and support people in detention to access the legal advice they urgently need.