Unlike all other European countries, the UK has no time limit on immigration detention, meaning that people can be and often are detained for lengthy periods of time, without trial. This is an absolutely unjust and dehumanising system, which is also costly and ineffective.
The recent and surprisingly readable Parliamentary report of the inquiry into the use of immigration detention in the UK found that this country detains too many people and for too long, recommending a 28 day time limit on detention but more importantly a reform of the entire detention system.
#Unlocked15 is an online tour by Detention Forum of the UK’s immigration detention estate, with individuals and organisations taking a week to spotlight each centre by sharing their experiences of detention or supporting people in detention. This week the tour is focussing on Dungavel, Scotland’s only Immigration Removal Centre.
Scottish Detainee Visitors is a charity that provides independent practical and emotional support to people in detention in Dungavel, as well as advocating for change in immigration detention. They are sharing the experiences of volunteer visitors and people detained in Dungavel as part of the tour, and are asking people to get involved by sharing on Twitter what they would most miss if they were detained for an indefinite period of time, without trial.
If I was in detention I would miss my son:
And I would miss the Scottish islands:
Have a look at the #Unlocked15 hashtag on Twitter for lots of links to people’s experiences of detention, interesting articles and general discussions around the topic. Scottish Detainee Visitors also have a great blog sharing experiences of being a volunteer visitor to Dungavel, comments on current developments in the world of immigration detention and much more. I’m a volunteer fundraiser with SDV so it would be remiss of me not to say that if you’d like to support the amazing and essential work they do you can do so on their website – a fiver will buy a phonecard that will allow a person in detention to keep in contact with family, friends and legal representatives.