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, starting with 2014.
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.
Members of the National Preventive Mechanism ‘reach a common position on the need for a time limit on immigration detention’.
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’.
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.
The International Detention Coalition publishes There are alternatives: A handbook for preventing unnecessary detention.
Unlocking Detention 2015 is launched, taking people on a virtual tour of the detention estate for the second year running.
The UN Human Rights Committee calls on the UK government to introduce a time limit on immigration detention.
The Detention Forum publishes Rethinking Vulnerability in Detention.
Immigration Minster James Brokenshire announces that the Home Office is suspending the Detained Fast Track.
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.
The House of Lords debates the report of the parliamentary inquiry into the use of detention.
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’.
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.
Theresa May announces a review of welfare in immigration detention, led by former Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Stephen Shaw.
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.
AVID releases Hidden Stories, documenting ‘the relationships that are built through volunteer visiting and the difference this can make to both volunteer and visitor’.
Detention Action, with input from experts by experience, publishes The State of Detention.
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.
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.
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.
The Immigration Act 2014 introduces sweeping new measures forming the backbone of the ‘hostile environment’.