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Blog 2018-10-17T10:34:24+00:00

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Week 8: #Unlocked18 visits Dungavel

During week 8, the final full week of Unlocking Detention 2018, we visited Dungavel IRC, in Scotland. Dungavel is very isolated: more than 30 miles from Glasgow, 14 miles from the nearest train station, 6 miles from the closest town (Strathaven) and no local bus route. It was originally a 19th century hunting lodge and summer retreat for the Duke [...]

By | February 18th, 2019|Dungavel, Experts-by-experience, Take action|

Your guide to #Unlocked18

#Unlocked18 marked the 5th year of Unlocking Detention, our virtual 'tour' of the UK's immigration detention estate. Whether you followed the tour from the beginning or you're just joining us now, we hope you find something to whet your appetite for learning more about detention and how to challenge it. Here's a guide to the contributions featured in #Unlocked18, with [...]

By | January 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|

On International Migrants Day – reasserting humanity and dignity of people in immigration detention

After weeks of our virtual ‘tour’ of detention centres which began in October, Unlocking Detention ends today, on International Migrants Day. People who are in immigration detention generally do not feature on International Migrants Day – the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ policy of locking people up is a powerful tool for erasure. And that is precisely the reason [...]

By | December 18th, 2018|The Verne|

“It is only an accident of fate that I was born in the UK.” Interview with Baroness Hamwee about her detention reform work

K.A., an expert-by-experience, interviewed Baroness Hamwee, a long-term advocate for detention reform in House of Lords. She was recently named as one of Detention Forum Champions, recognising her tireless work challenging immigration detention. ================================================================  Hello Sally, My name is K.A. I spent 5 months in immigration detention between September 2017 and February2018. The effect it has had on me both [...]

By | December 17th, 2018|Experts-by-experience|

Life after closure: The experiences of the Verne Visitors Group

This blog comes from Ruth Jacobson, a committee member of the Verne Visitors Group (VVG). VVG was established in 2014 to support people detained in The Verne immigration removal centre (IRC) until its closure in December 2017. Here, Ruth is writing in a personal capacity. At the time of Unlocking Detention 2017 (#Unlocked17), our group was confronting the implications of [...]

By | December 14th, 2018|Take action, The Verne|

Rebuilding a life after detention

This blog comes from Indre Lechtimiakyte. Indre is originally from Lithuania and has been working as a caseworker and coordinator of the Ex-Detainee Project for Samphire since 2016. Prior to joining Samphire, she worked on the return migration project at IOM Vilnius, human rights education and awareness raising projects in Bulgaria and in a private law practice in Lithuania. You [...]

By | December 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Week 7: #Unlocked18 visits Morton Hall

Week 7 of #Unlocked18 took us to Morton Hall IRC, near the small village of Swinderby in Lincolnshire. Surrounded by fields and villages, it is one of the UK's most isolated and least-known detention centres. It was originally an RAF base before reopening as a prison in 1985, and became an IRC in May 2011.  It is the only remaining IRC to [...]

By | December 13th, 2018|Morton Hall|

‘If I don’t come back, call my lawyer’: Practical solidarity for people at risk of detention

Luke Butterly works for Right to Remain, a UK-based human rights organisation challenging injustice in our asylum and immigration systems. This blog has been reposted with kind permission from Red Pepper. In communities across the UK, around 80,000 people with pending asylum and immigration claims have to 'report' with the Home Office. This happens at regular intervals - weekly, fortnightly, monthly [...]

By | December 13th, 2018|communities, Take action|

Hidden in plain sight: Working with trafficked people in detention

Content warning: torture This blog comes from Beatrice Grasso, Detention Outreach Manager with JRS UK, who recently published a report on the indefinite detention of trafficking survivors. While JRS’s research draws on case studies from Harmondsworth and Colnbrook immigration removal centres (IRCs), this issue affects people detained across the UK. The campaign #DucMakesGlasgow highlighted the plight of Duc, a trafficking [...]

By | December 13th, 2018|Colnbrook, Dungavel, Harmondsworth|

When a ‘good’ inspection report is bad news

This blog comes from Kate Alexander, Director of Scottish Detainee Visitors, who support people detained in Dungavel immigration removal centre (IRC) and tweet at @SDVisitors The latest inspection report on Dungavel IRC, published on 16 November, makes interesting reading. Dungavel usually receives positive reports from inspectors, in stark contrast to other detention centres and this one follows that pattern to [...]

By | December 12th, 2018|Dungavel|

Because of detention | In spite of detention

Content warning: torture This contribution comes from the Life After Detention group (LAD) based in Glasgow and facilitated by Scottish Detainee Visitors. Between them, members of LAD have lost 4 years and 8 months of their lives to detention. The first part, ‘Because of Detention’, reflects on the ongoing devastation caused by indefinite detention. The second, 'In spite of detention', [...]

By | December 11th, 2018|Dungavel, Experts-by-experience|

Separation and abandonment as a result of detention

This blog comes from A. Panquang, a member of Freed Voices (@FreedVoices) and Detention Forum volunteer.  Detaining anybody simply means separating them from their familiar surroundings; away from friends, family and community. Everyone has a family and being in detention usually means being separated from them. The UK immigration system doesn’t take into account whether one has a young family or other [...]

By | December 11th, 2018|Experts-by-experience|

For many autumns to come

This blog was written by Mishka, a member of Freed Voices, a group of experts-by-experience committed to speaking out about the realities of immigration detention in the UK. And Mishka would like to introduce the blog himself… This would be my final piece for Unlocking Detention 2018. It has been my absolute delight to be a part of this year's [...]

By | December 10th, 2018|Experts-by-experience|

‘The stain of detention will haunt us for the rest of our lives, but I don’t want it to define us’: Experts-by-experience give evidence to the JCHR inquiry

This blog comes from A. Panquang, a member of Freed Voices (@FreedVoices) and Detention Forum volunteer. On 28 November, A gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry into immigration detention alongside Michael, another member of Freed Voices. I have never given evidence in Parliament before. The first thing that I noticed was that it was a normal activity for the [...]

By | December 8th, 2018|Experts-by-experience|

Your pocket Home Office phrasebook: A dialect of dehumanisation

Patrick Page is a senior caseworker in public law at Duncan Lewis Solicitors (@DLPublicLaw). He is also founder and editor of No Walls, a forum for discussions on migration and human rights, with a focus on immigration detention. No Walls is a member of the Detention Forum. Patrick tweets at @padspage The dehumanising language deployed by national leaders and public figures when [...]

By | December 7th, 2018|Uncategorized|