Reminder: 1 October deadline for written evidence

The deadline for submitting written evidence to the inquiry is Wednesday 1 October. Information about how to submit your evidence is below.

SUBMITTING EVIDENCE

The inquiry invites written evidence from a broad range of stakeholders, including government representatives and civil servants, local authorities, charities, researchers, and voluntary organisations working with detainees and individual detainees, former detainees and families of detainees themselves. Evidence from people who have had direct personal experience of immigration detention is particularly welcomed. As such, the Committee encourages groups working with detainees to conduct their own oral and written evidence sessions in order to provide opportunities for people to tell their stories and to build their evidence on the basis of this direct input.

We recommend that submissions of evidence follow the guidelines below.

For those with direct experience of immigration detention, please include as much information as you can about:

• Your experiences of living in immigration detention, including the context and duration of your stay;
• The conditions in immigration detention, including your ability to access services such as legal advice, healthcare, pastoral support;
• Whether there were appropriate mechanisms to deal with any mental, physical or emotional issues you may have experienced prior to or during your time in detention;
• Any longer-term impacts of detention on you, your family and/or your wider community;
• Any other information about detention that you would like to share.

For all other respondents, please address some/all of the following questions, supporting your answers with examples and evidence where possible:

• What are your views on the current conditions within UK immigration detention centres, including detainees’ access to advice and services? Please highlight any areas where you think that improvements could be made.
• How far does the current detention system support the needs of vulnerable detainees, including pregnant women, detainees with a disability and young adults?
• What are the impacts of immigration detention on individuals, family and social networks, and wider communities?
• There is currently no time limit on immigration detention – in your view what are the impacts (if any) of this?
• Are the current arrangements for authorizing detention appropriate?
• What are the wider consequences of the current immigration detention system, including any financial and/or social implications?
• How effective are the current UK alternatives to detention (e.g. bail, reporting requirements)? Are viable alternatives to immigration detention in operation in other countries?

We understand that many of the organisations working with detainees are small and may be unable to provide comprehensive evidence on all points. We would welcome your views on the basis of the expertise that you have. If you work directly with a small organisation and want help with facilitating a session gathering evidence from detainees, we may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help with that.

The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 1 October 2014. As a guideline, submissions should be:

  1. In word format with limited use of colour
  2. No more than 3000 words
  3. Include numbered paragraphs
  4. Include information about your organisation

Please be aware that submissions may be published unless exemption is requested. If an organisation or person request that their evidence be published anonymously it will be published but without naming the submitter (ie, under the title ‘anonymous’).

EMAIL

Please send electronic evidence to jonathan.featonby@parliament.uk

POST

You can send a hard copy of your evidence to: Detention Inquiry, Office of Sarah Teather MP, House of Commons, Westminster, SW1A 0AA

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Transcript of first oral evidence session

The transcript of the first oral evidence session, which took place on July 17 2014, is now available by clicking here: first evidence session_transcript.

The panel first heard evidence from Shami Chakrabarti (Director, Liberty) and Jerome Phelps (Director, Detention Action), who answered questions from the panel on, amongst others subjects, access to legal support and indefinite detention.

Detention Action’s written evidence to the inquiry can be read here: detention-action-detention-inquiry-evidence-0714.

The panel then spoke directly to three detainees currently held in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre by phone link. The detainees told the panel about their own experiences in detention.

The third set of witnesses to give evidence were three former detainees: Alice, Maimuna and Souleymane. They told the panel about their experiences trying to access medical support, and about how their detention had effected their mental health.

Lastly, the panel heard from Dr Cornelius Katona and Dr Katy Robjant, both from the Royal College of Psychiatry and the Helen Bamber Foundation. Dr Katona and Dr Robjant discussed their own work with clients who had experience immigration detention, as well as the international evidence relating to the impact of detention on mental health outcomes.

An article on the mental health implications of detaining asylum seekers, co-authored by Dr Katona and Dr Robjant, is available here: Robjant Hassan and Katona 2009.

The panel would like to encourage all interested parties to submit written evidence to the inquiry. The deadline for submitting written evidence is 1 October 2014. 

 

Detention Inquiry holds first oral evidence session

The APPG on Refugees and APPG on Migration joint inquiry into the use of immigration detention held its first oral evidence session today.

The panel first heard evidence from Shami Chakrabarti (Director, Liberty) and Jerome Phelps (Director, Detention Action), who answered questions from the panel on, amongst others subjects, access to legal support and indefinite detention.

Detention Action’s written evidence to the inquiry can be read here: detention-action-detention-inquiry-evidence-0714.

The panel then spoke directly to three detainees currently held in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre by phone link. The detainees told the panel about their own experiences in detention.

The third set of witnesses to give evidence were three former detainees: Alice, Maimuna and Souleymane. They told the panel about their experiences trying to access medical support, and about how their detention had effected their mental health.

Lastly, the panel heard from Dr Cornelius Katona and Dr Katy Robjant, both from the Royal College of Psychiatry and the Helen Bamber Foundation. Dr Katona and Dr Robjant discussed their own work with clients who had experience immigration detention, as well as the international evidence relating to the impact of detention on mental health outcomes.

An article on the mental health implications of detaining asylum seekers, co-authored by Dr Katona and Dr Robjant, is available here: Robjant Hassan and Katona 2009.

The panel would like to encourage all interested parties to submit written evidence to the inquiry. The deadline for submitting written evidence is 1 October 2014. 

Parliamentary inquiry into immigration detention to hold first evidence session

On Thursday 17 July, a cross-party panel of parliamentarians will hold its first oral evidence session as part of its inquiry into the use of immigration detention in the UK. Amongst others, the panel will hear evidence directly from detainees currently held in immigration detention via phone link.

Witnesses

Thursday 17 July, at 10.30am, in the Boothroyd Rood, Portcullis House

  • Shami Chakrabarti, Director, Liberty
  • Jerome Phelps, Director, Detention Action

At c.11.15am:

  • Current detainees via phone link
  • Former detainees: Maimuna Jawo and Alice (from Women for Refugee Woman) and Souleymane (from Detention Action)

At c.12.00pm:

  • Dr Katy Robjant, Royal Society of Psychiatrists
  • Professor Cornelius Katona, Royal Society of Psychiatrists

Panel Members:

  • Sarah Teather MP
  • Paul Blomfield MP
  • David Burrowes MP
  • Caroline Spelman MP
  • Jon Cruddas MP
  • Julian Huppert MP
  • Richard Fuller MP
  • Baroness Lister
  • Baroness Hamwee
  • Lord Ramsbotham
  • Lord Lloyd of Berwick

The above meeting is open to members of the public. It is advisable to allow about 20 minutes to pass through security checks. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats for the meeting. Members of the public enter via the Portcullis House entrance.

For more information, please contact Jon Featonby on 020 7219 8147 or click here.

Updates on the inquiry can also be found via the APPG on Refugees twitter feed: @APPGRefugees.

Detention inquiry invites written evidence

CALL FOR EVIDENCE

The inquiry invites written evidence from a broad range of stakeholders, including government representatives and civil servants, local authorities, charities, researchers, and voluntary organisations working with detainees and individual detainees, former detainees and families of detainees themselves. We understand that many of the organisations working with detainees are small and may be unable to provide comprehensive evidence on all points. We would welcome your views on the basis of the expertise that you have.  If you work directly with a small organisation and want help with facilitating a session gathering evidence from detainees, we may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help with that.  Evidence from people who have had direct personal experience of immigration detention is particularly welcomed.  You will find suggested questions outlined below.

We recommend that submissions of evidence follow the guidelines below.

For those with direct experience of immigration detention, please include as much information as you can about:

  • The conditions in immigration detention, including your ability to access services such as legal advice, healthcare, pastoral support;
  • Whether there were appropriate mechanisms to deal with any mental, physical or emotional issues  you may have experienced prior to or during your time in detention;
  • Any longer-term impacts of detention on you, your family and/or your wider community;
  • Any other information about detention that you would like to share.

For all other respondents, please address some/all of the following questions, supporting your answers with examples and evidence where possible:

  • What are your views on the current conditions within UK immigration detention centres, including detainees’ access to advice and services?  Please highlight any areas where you think that improvements could be made.
  • How far does the current detention system support the needs of vulnerable detainees, including pregnant women, detainees with a disability and young adults?
  • What are the impacts of immigration detention on individuals, family and social networks, and wider communities?
  • There is currently no time limit on immigration detention – in your view what are the impacts (if any) of this?
  • Are the current arrangements for authorizing detention appropriate?
  • What are the wider consequences of the current immigration detention system, including any financial and/or social implications?
  • How effective are the current UK alternatives to detention (e.g. bail, reporting requirements)? Are viable alternatives to immigration detention in operation in other countries?

The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 1st October 2014. As a guideline, submissions should be:

  1. In word format with limited use of colour
  2. No more than 3000 words
  3. Include numbered paragraphs
  4. Include information about your organisation

EMAIL

Please send electronic evidence to jonathan.featonby@parliament.uk

POST

You can send a hard copy of your evidence to: Detention Inquiry, Office of Sarah Teather MP, House of Commons, Westminster, SW1A 0AA

ORAL EVIDENCE

The panel will hold oral evidence sessions during July and October 2014. Location tbc. Please contact Jonathan Featonby on 0207 219 8147 or jonathan.featonby@parliament.uk if you wish to be considered.

Parliamentarians to hold inquiry into immigration detention

A cross-party panel of parliamentarians will hold an inquiry into the use of immigration detention, it was announced today. The inquiry, which will be chaired by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, 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, how detention is used in other countries, and the future role of detention within the immigration system.

The inquiry, which will be jointly run by the APPG on Refugees and the APPG on Migration, will hold several oral evidence sessions in parliament. The panel invites written evidence from interested groups and individuals, including those who have experience of being detained for immigration purposes.

The members of the panel are:

  • Sarah Teather MP
  • Paul Blomfield MP
  • David Burrowes MP
  • Caroline Spelman MP
  • Jon Cruddas MP
  • Julian Huppert MP
  • Richard Fuller MP
  • Baroness Lister
  • Baroness Hamwee
  • Lord Ramsbotham
  • Lord Lloyd of Berwick

Commenting on the launch of the inquiry, panel chair Sarah Teather said:

“I am very pleased that we are launching this inquiry today. In the light of several high profile incidents within detention centres, including sexual abuse and deaths, there is a clear need for parliamentary scrutiny of how and why we detain people for immigration purposes.”

Chair of the APPG on Migration, Paul Blomfield MP, added:

“This is an important issue and this inquiry is very timely. I hope that we will receive evidence from a wide range of individuals and groups, including those who have been detained themselves.”