Immigration Detention Timeline

Immigration Detention Timeline 2018-11-19T14:36:16+00:00

2018 marks the fifth year of Unlocking Detention. This timeline tells the story of immigration detention reform during the time it has been running. We will be releasing one year of the timeline at a time as we progress through #Unlocked18.

05-12-2018
Parliament

Tulip Siddiq MP presents a ten-minute rule Bill calling for a time limit on immigration detention, with cross-party support.

03-12-2018
Home Office

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes announces an alternative to detention pilot for women who would otherwise potentially be detained.

30-11-2018
Campaigning

Caroline Spelman MP and Baroness Sally Hamwee are named Detention Forum Champions in recognition of their commitment to detention reform.

09-11-2018
Home Office

The government announces that Campsfield House IRC will close in May 2019, the fourth IRC to close since Unlocking Detention began.

22-10-2018
Campaigning

Unlocking Detention 2018 is launched, with a focus on encouraging people to take action towards detention reform.

07-09-2018
Campaigning

The Detention Forum publishes a working paper answering questions around a 28 day time limit on immigration detention.

24-07-2018
Parliament
24-07-2018
Home Office

The government publishes Stephen Shaw’s second review of immigration detention and announces its response, including an internal review of time limits on immigration detention in other countries and a pilot alternative to detention project for women who would otherwise be detained in Yarl’s Wood IRC. The Detention Forum places Shaw’s second review in a broader context of growing media and political interest in detention reform.

09-07-2018
Campaigning

The British Red Cross publishes evidence of the humanitarian impact of immigration detention in Never truly free, announcing its support for a 28 day time limit.

02-07-2018
Campaigning

The Detention Forum publishes a briefing on FAQs around Alternatives to Detention.

13-06-2018
Campaigning

MPs Paul Blomfield and Stuart McDonald are named Detention Forum Champions for their tireless work in advocating for detention reform.

29-04-2018
Home Office

Amber Rudd resigns as Home Secretary after misleading Parliament over deportation targets amidst the Windrush and Hostile Environment scandal. She is replaced by Sajid Javid.

16-03-2018
Parliament
21-02-2018
Experts-by-experience

100 women begin a hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood IRC, calling for detention reform including a time limit.

15-01-2018
Parliament

Key provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 come into force, including changes to bail and post-detention accommodation.

08-01-2018
Home Office

Caroline Nokes MP becomes Immigration Minster, replacing Brandon Lewis MP.

15-12-2017
Campaigning

Amnesty International publishes A matter of routine, arguing for a move away from the UK’s reliance on immigration detention.

30-11-2017
Campaigning

The Bar Council publishes Injustice in immigration detention, calling for automatic judicial oversight and a time limit on immigration detention.

21-11-2017
Campaigning

The British Medical Association publishes Locked up, locked out: Health and human rights in immigration detention, calling for a time limit on detention.

16-11-2017
Campaigning

As part of #Unlocked17, the Detention Forum hosts a parliamentary meeting on immigration detention featuring experts-by-experience and current research.

31-10-2017
Campaigning

Women for Refugee Women publishes We are still here, arguing that the government’s Adults at Risk policy is failing to safeguard and protect vulnerable women in immigration detention.

16-10-2017
Campaigning

Unlocking Detention 2017 is launched, encouraging people to take action towards immigration detention reform.

11-10-2017
Home Office

The Home Office announces the closure of The Verne IRC, only three years after it opened. The reduction of 580 detention bed-spaces represents about a 20% decrease in the UK’s immigration detention estate.

10-10-2017
Litigation

Following legal action by Medical Justice and others, the High Court rules the Government’s new definition of torture in immigration detention policy unlawful.

13-09-2017
Parliament
04-09-2017
Media

The BBC’s Panorama programme ‘Undercover: Britain’s immigration secrets’ features extensive undercover footage from Brook House IRC. The Freed Voices, a group of experts-by-experience campaigning for immigration reform, publish a response to this.

12-06-2017
Home Office

Brandon Lewis MP becomes Immigration Minster, replacing Robert Goodwill MP.

01-05-2017
Politics

Labour and the Liberal Democrats again pledge to end indefinite immigration detention in their election manifestos. The SNP’s manifesto includes a commitment to a 28 day time limit.

01-03-2017
Campaigning

Women for Refugee Women publishes The way ahead: An asylum system without detention, arguing for alternatives to detention.

10-10-2016
Campaigning

Unlocking Detention 2016 is launched, this year focusing on friends, families and communities affected by detention.

01-09-2016
Campaigning

Detention Action publishes Without detention, outlining the strategy for developing and implementing community-based alternatives to detention to radically reduce the use of detention.

19-07-2016
Oversight

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons publishes its annual report summarising findings from 2015-2016, including inspections into Dungavel, Harmondsworth, The Verne, Tinsley House and Yarl’s Wood IRCs. Following the Parliamentary Inquiry and Shaw Review, HMIP decides to formally call for a time limit on immigration detention.

18-07-2016
Home Office

Robert Goodwill MP becomes Immigration Minster, replacing James Brokenshire MP.

13-07-2016
Home Office

Amber Rudd is appointed Home Secretary following Theresa May’s appointment as Prime Minister.

12-07-2016
Home Office

The Home Office implements new guidance on adults at risk in immigration detention, which ‘aims to strike the right balance between protecting the vulnerable and ensuring the maintenance of legitimate immigration control’.

12-05-2016
Parliament

Following growing disquiet about immigration detention and a last-minute ping-pong regarding a proposed time limit amendment, the Immigration Act 2016 introduces changes to immigration detention policy including automatic bail referrals after 4 months for certain people, changes to post-detention accommodation, and a time limit for pregnant women.

01-02-2016
Oversight

In the lead-up to the 2016 Immigration Bill, the Equality and Human Rights Commission supports the Parliamentary Inquiry’s recommendation of a 28 day time limit.

14-01-2016
Home Office

The Home Office publishes Stephen Shaw’s ‘Review into the Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons‘, which calls on the government to reduce the size of the detention estate ‘boldly and without delay’. In response, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire announces changes designed to reduce the scale of detention and improve the welfare of people who are detained.

12-11-2015
Litigation

The Supreme Court refuses the government permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision of 29 July, marking the end of the road for the Detained Fast Track.

02-11-2015
Oversight

Members of the National Preventive Mechanism ‘reach a common position on the need for a time limit on immigration detention’.

15-10-2015
Home Office

The Home Office announces the closure of Dover IRC, explaining that it was not compatible with a detention estate of ‘modern, secure centres located with easy access to the airports from which removals take place’.

02-10-2015
Oversight

As part of its global ‘beyond detention’ strategy, the UNHCR publishes a national action plan for the UK, raising concerns about the scale of immigration detention and lack of time limit.

01-10-2015
Campaigning

The International Detention Coalition publishes There are alternatives: A handbook for preventing unnecessary detention.

21-09-2015
Campaigning

Unlocking Detention 2015 is launched, taking people on a virtual tour of the detention estate for the second year running.

21-07-2015
Oversight
09-07-2015
Campaigning

The Detention Forum publishes Rethinking Vulnerability in Detention.

02-07-2015
Home Office

Immigration Minster James Brokenshire announces that the Home Office is suspending the Detained Fast Track.

12-06-2015
Litigation

The High Court quashes the Detained Fast Track asylum appeals process, meaning that those seeking asylum can no longer be detained simply for the purpose of quickly assessing their claim.

01-04-2015
Politics

Labour and the Liberal Democrats pledge to end indefinite immigration detention in their election manifestos.

31-03-2015
Home Office

Haslar IRC closes its doors, the first in a string of closures to come.

06-03-2015
Experts-by-experience

Following a Channel 4 investigation into Yarl’s Wood IRC, protests and hunger strikes break out in several IRCs. Protestors call for an end to the ‘indefinite deprivation of liberty and human rights’.

03-03-2015
Parliament

The Parliamentary Inquiry into immigration detention publishes its report, concluding that ‘we cannot go on as we are’. It finds that ‘the UK detains too many people, for too long a time, and that in far too many cases people are detained completely unnecessarily’. It recommends a time limit of 28 days and the implementation of community-based alternatives to detention.

08-02-2015
Home Office

Theresa May announces a review of welfare in immigration detention, led by former Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Stephen Shaw.

10-11-2014
Campaigning

The Detention Forum calls for a moratorium on the expansion of the detention estate, following the announcement of a plan to double the size of Campsfield IRC. The plan was later dropped.

07-11-2014
Campaigning

AVID releases Hidden Stories, documenting ‘the relationships that are built through volunteer visiting and the difference this can make to both volunteer and visitor’.

08-10-2014
Campaigning

Detention Action, with input from experts by experience, publishes The State of Detention.

14-09-2014
Campaigning

The first Unlocking Detention is launched, using social media to challenge the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach that has allowed the cruelty of immigration detention to remain hidden.

09-07-2014
Litigation

The High Court finds the Detained Fast Track process to be operating with an ‘unacceptable risk of unfairness’ following legal proceedings brought by Detention Action.

07-07-2014
Parliament

A Parliamentary Inquiry into immigration detention is launched by the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Refugees and Migration. Advocates and experts by experience give oral evidence.

14-05-2014
Parliament

The Immigration Act 2014 introduces sweeping new measures forming the backbone of the ‘hostile environment’.