Migrants' Rights Network

Panorama detention programme: ‘We’ve been saying this for years says’, Medical Justice

Medical Justice has raised all the issues covered in a recent BBC Panorama programme about the UK’s treatment of immigration detainees, for many years, says the charity.

The charity says that it has raised questions both about individual detainees and at a systemic failure level, with the Home Office “who have stonewalled us, claiming that any issues were isolated incidents and have since been rectified.  We have also raised these issues with NHS England who have given G4S contracts to provide healthcare at Brook House and other immigration removal centres, including the notorious Yarl’s Wood where vulnerable women are held”.

Medical Justice says it is just one voice in a chorus of criticism, including issues raised by HM Inspector of Prisons, detainee rights organisations, parliamentary inquiries, the media, the many unlawful detention judgements, including high court judgements finding that detention amounted to “inhuman and degrading treatment” and inquests that have found that neglect contributed to detainees’ deaths. 

Most markedly, detainees themselves have been raising complaints that have been dismissed by the Home Office and its private contractors running immigration removal centres. 

Medical Justice says that it is particularly concerned that G4S has recently been awarded the contract to provide welfare for children with families detained at Tinsley House, neighbouring Brook House, which they also run.

It has been highlighting failures and documenting abuses in immigration detention for years – Outsourcing Abuse (2008) – still these practices are allowed to go on.

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