In response to the HMI Prisons report into Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre published this week (Wednesday 7 December), which states while conditions have improved, there are still concerns about how the needs of vulnerable women are being met, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“While it is good news that conditions at Yarl’s Wood have improved since the last inspection, it’s unacceptable that pregnant women are still being detained there. Pregnant women should in no circumstances be held in detention centres. It is also extremely worrying that the process to safeguard women who are unfit to be detained for health reasons, including survivors of torture, is not in working order.
“We know from our work with asylum seeking women that detention can be an extremely distressing and traumatic experience, particularly for women in a vulnerable state, so it is of utmost importance that UKBA takes their needs seriously. If women must be detained, we urge the UKBA to heed the recommendations from the Chief Inspector that will help ensure they are properly protected there.”