Detention of Asylum Seekers
The detention of asylum seekers is a fairly widespread but opaque process.
René Cassin, along with many partner organisations, is concerned about the nature of detention. We are particularly concerned that the United Kingdom’s policy and practice of detention infringes the human rights of many asylum seekers.
We see the detention of asylum seekers as a human rights issue and are concerned that indefinite detention, the detention of vulnerable people and the Detained Fast Track system violate both human rights standards and the inherent dignity of the individual.
The UK should be a place of sanctuary for those seeking asylum. We want a system where individuals fleeing horrific circumstances in their home country can come to the UK for protection. We want an asylum system with individuals’ human rights its primary concern.
The René Cassin organisation addresses issues surrounding the detention of asylum seekers in the UK by:
- Framing detention as a human rights concern; and
- Indefinite detention
- Detention of vulnerable people (including people with mental health problems, torture victims, and children)
- Detention conditions (in instances where those conditions do not satisfy basic standards)
- The Detained Fast Track System
- Legal flaws in the current detention system, including insufficient judicial oversight and obstacles to accessing quality legal advice and representation
Our campaign resources
If you are a young aspiring activist who would like to learn more about detention of asylum seekers in the UK, and join our campaign, please Download Learn to Act: An Asylum Detention Activist Toolkit. This Toolkit was created with the generous support of the Allen Lane Foundation.
Recent campaign work includes:
- Working with various organisations within the Detention Forum to invite Members of Parliament to attend Parliamentary meetings on issues concerning detention (examples include a meeting on the economic costs of long-term detention, and a meeting to discuss the UK Border Agency's Thematic Inspection Report on the Detained Fast Track System).
- Highlighting human rights concerns relating to detention of asylum seekers in the UK in our recent submission to the United Nation's Universal Periodic Review.
- Writing a letter in coalition with 105 other NGOs to Home Secretary Theresa May in May 2011 regarding recent changes to the immigration rules regarding women who are domestic violence victims seeking to stay in the UK.
- Publishing a Detention Toolkit for young activists that provides a plan for increased engagement in our campaign.
- Urging the Joint Committee on Human Rights to reopen the case on detention.
- Participating as a member of the Detention Forum in parliamentary meetings regarding immigration detention in the UK.
- Collaboratively organizing a photography exhibit for awareness about refugee-related issues in conjunction with a local photographer.
- Drafting a policy paper on asylum issues in UK.
- Appealing to the European Union institutions calling them to observe the minimum safeguards against asylum detention in EU asylum legislations.
Some further insight
To read about our volunteer's recent experience visiting a detention centre in Scotland, please click here.
For more information on detention as a human rights concern, please click here.
For more information on deportation, please click here.
For more information on children in detention, please click here.
For more information on destitute asylum seekers, please click here.
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