Immigration detention destroys the sense of humanity and fosters a culture of death, a new report from the Jesuit Refugee Service UK has found.
Detained and Dehumanised: The Impact of Immigration Detention draws from the accounts of 27 forcibly displaced people supported by JRS UK, with direct experience of detention spanning the last 20 years.
It finds that the indefinite and arbitrary process of immigration detention destroys a person’s sense of humanity and fosters a culture of death, suicide and self-harm; causing long-term damage to physical and mental health.
It recommends an end to the use of detention for the purpose of immigration control, as it is incompatible with a humane and just immigration and asylum system.
Sarah Teather, director of JRS UK said: “This report provides further damning evidence of the tragic and dehumanising effects of the Home Office’s use of immigration detention. It is clear that being physically detained, as well as the looming threat of detention, irreversibly impact mental and physical wellbeing and causes life-long pain and trauma.”
JRS UK has urged the Government to introduce a mandatory time limit of 28 days or less for all those detained under immigration powers.
“At JRS UK we regularly encounter vulnerable individuals who are subjected to the indignity of detention through an arbitrary process, and who are caught in a complex web of dehumanising policies,” Ms Teather continued. “Far from being a last resort, the use of these punitive and devastating powers has become so automatic that it has been normalised. Immigration detention destroys families, communities and lives.
“The time for government to end this cruel and inhumane practice is long over-due.”
Picture: File photo, dated 18th March 2009, of a general view of D Wing at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre, next to Gatwick Airport in West Sussex. (Gareth Fuller/PA).