Immigration Detention Inquiry launched - Refugee Council
July 7, 2014

Immigration Detention Inquiry launched

A Parliamentary Inquiry into the use of detention in the immigration and asylum systems has been launched.

The Inquiry is being led jointly by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees, of which the Refugee Council is the secretariat, and the APPG on Migration.

It will examine the use of detention in the UK immigration and asylum systems, with a particular focus on the conditions within detention centres, the impact on individual detainees and their families, the wider financial and social consequences, and the future role of detention within the immigration system.

The Inquiry is being headed by the Chair of the APPG on Refugees, Sarah Teather MP and will have a panel made up of cross party MPs including former government minister Caroline Spelman, Labour’s policy review coordinator, Jon Cruddas and Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson in the Lords, Baroness Hamwee.

Leading NGOs including the Refugee Council are expected to give evidence during the Inquiry, and panellists will also hear from current and former detainees.

Although the remit of the Inquiry has a broader focus than those who have claimed asylum, we believe it is particularly abhorrent to be locking up people whose only crime was to think that they would be safe in Britain. It’s expensive, it’s inefficient and the human cost is patently unacceptable.

Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren said:

“It’s high time the British Government did away with the use of immigration detention in the asylum system and admitted that the whole principle defies our most cherished British values.

“It’s a simple question of right and wrong; imprisoning vulnerable people who have done nothing wrong is depraved; detaining them indefinitely is despotic.”