Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law
Rwanda policy causing ‘stress, upset and increased chances of self-harm’ for detainees
THANKS FOR READING
Older content is locked
A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more
TAKE FREE MOVEMENT FURTHER
By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;
- Single login for personal use
- FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
- Access to all Free Movement blog content
- Access to all our online training materials
- Access to our busy forums
- Downloadable CPD certificates
The Independent Monitoring Board has explicitly connected the Rwanda agreement with an increased risk of detainees self-harming in its latest report. The ‘Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre’ for 2022 covers the Colnbrook and Harmondsworth centres.
The usual themes of these reports are there, including poor Home Office communications and a list of unactioned recommendations to ministers from last year’s report. Concerningly, the report notes that the increase in the number of acts of self-harm from 2014 in 2021 to 150 in 2022 will be partially linked to an increase in the detained population. However it also states that:
Every effort should be made to minimise the stress, upset and increased chances of self-harm caused by the Migration and Economic Development Partnership [Rwanda] policy, on both those affected and those in the wider immigration detention estate.
The board’s charter flight monitoring team are also due to publish their annual report for 2022, presumably quite soon as last year’s was published in June. This will include a report of the welfare of people taken from the removal centre to the military airport at Boscombe Down where the Rwanda flight was due to leave from.
The Home Office is currently looking to expand the detention estate by a further 1,000 places at an estimated cost of £306 million. This is in addition to the re-opening of Campsfield and Haslar immigration removal centres and the associated costs of that. Expansion of the detention estate will lead to more incidents of self-harm, as well as the other harms caused by detention including to people’s mental health. There remains no evidence for detention acting as a deterrent to people coming to the UK, so all that is likely to be achieved by this is harm to people who came here seeking safety.