Unlocked19

The silencing of race in NGO and charity campaigning against detention

There are certain norms in terms of how immigration detention can be described. ‘Inhumane’, ‘unjust’, ‘unfair’, ‘harmful’ – but ‘racist’? Gemma Lousley (@gemmalousley) at Women for Refugee Women unpicks why and how NGOs and charity organisations avoid talking about ‘race’ and what its consequences are for anti-immigration campaigns. In July this year, Women for Refugee Women published a report on the [...]

2019-12-07T20:53:32+00:00 December 10th, 2019|

A post-detention Scotland?

Image courtesy of Scottish Detainee Visitors and illustration by @carcazan With a declining occupancy in Dungavel, the only Scottish detention centre, Kate Alexander, director of the Scottish Detainee Visitors (SDV) is imagining what Scotland would look like post-detention and what it would mean for the visitors who have a well established and effective strategy. At a recent visit to Dungavel, my [...]

2019-12-09T21:01:30+00:00 December 10th, 2019|

Reflections on Unlocking Detention

Illustrations by @carcazan As we near the end of Unlocking Detention, Charlotte (@CCionnfhaolaidh) one of the Detention Forum volunteers who was responsible for running the ‘tour’ of Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres, explains what she has learned from her #Unlocked19 experience. Every year, Unlocking Detention takes a different format of delivery. For this year’s ‘tour’, rather than all members of the [...]

2019-12-09T21:02:33+00:00 December 9th, 2019|

Visiting people held in Dungavel immigration detention centre

To close this year’s Unlocking Detention by a ‘visit’ to Dungavel and reflect on what’s next, we have asked volunteer visitors of Scottish Detainee Visitors, ordinary people doing extraordinary job of witnessing what’s happening to people locked up in Dungavel, to share their experiences. Carol (not her real name) I had heard about Scottish Detainee Visitors from my daughter (who used [...]

2019-12-09T20:50:41+00:00 December 9th, 2019|

After Campsfield

As more detention centres are closed, visitors’ groups shift their focus to what’s next. Clara Della Croce, from Asylum Welcome, explains to Unlocking Detention what Asylum Welcome did after the closure of Campsfield immigration detention in Oxfordshire. On Friday, 9th November 2018, Asylum Welcome was informed that the Home Office had decided to close Campsfield House in May 2019. Throughout 25 [...]

2019-12-09T11:24:29+00:00 December 9th, 2019|

British Justice?

You come here to study and find yourself in immigration detention - that’s what has happened to some of the so-called TOEIC students, international students wrongly accused of cheating in 2014. They are being supported by Migrant Voice to campaign to clear their names. As part of Unlocking Detention, they shared with us their experiences of immigration detention and views of [...]

2019-12-08T15:22:15+00:00 December 3rd, 2019|

An ingredient for successful parliamentary lobbying? A lack of ego

Since the Detention Forum was founded 10 years ago, parliamentary lobbying on immigration detention reform has evolved dramatically. First of all, there is a lot more of it. Secondly, it is done more meticulously. And thirdly and most importantly, it is having an impact.  However, with it developed an unspoken hierarchy of perceived importance which sees parliamentary lobbying as the most [...]

2019-11-25T14:53:43+00:00 December 2nd, 2019|

Who am I again?

Testimony is a powerful way of helping those of us lucky enough not to have experienced the blunt end of immigration detention to understand a little bit of what it must be like. It can inspire us to action. But at what cost to those who have to continuously revisit the experience; who become known to us only as one of [...]

2019-11-20T15:07:31+00:00 December 2nd, 2019|

Reflecting on visiting immigration detention centres

How has visiting people in immigration detention changed over the last 10 years? Ali McGinley, Director of the Association of Visitors to Immigration Detention (AVID), looks back at the lasting significance of face-to-face support detention visitors offer and considers what the future might hold for detention visiting. Ali tweets at @McGinleyAM. One of the many distressing aspects of detention is having [...]

2019-11-26T13:07:49+00:00 November 26th, 2019|

Yarl’s Wood and the anti-detention movement: challenging perceptions at the grassroots

When we think of immigration detention, we tend to focus on immigration detention centres, what happens inside them and groups working directly and exclusively on immigration detention. But perhaps, this is changing. More people are waking up to the connection between immigration detention and the shadow of the Hostile Environment they see in their communities. Catherine Hurley (@hurleycat38) reports on a [...]

2019-11-15T13:03:27+00:00 November 25th, 2019|
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