Resolution passed at CLP GC meeting on 11th Sept
End immigration detention: restore human dignity and fight prejudice
West Ham Labour Party notes:
The UK’s “Detention Estate”, one of the largest in Europe, comprises over 8
detention centres, including Yarls Wood and many others.
Alternatives to detention exist. Pilot schemes in 2010-2012 run by Refugee
Action/UKBA for single people and families were successful in employing a fully holistic approach.
Violence and mental ill-health faced by detainees is rampant.
11 reported deaths in 2017 (almost all self-inflicted); 2 suicide attempts per day, a 22% rise in suicide between April and June 2018.
Inhumane conditions and cases of rampant racist, sexual and sexist abuse by staff reported at Yarl’s Wood.
Work exploitation in Detention Centres is routine, with detainees expected to
work for just £1 per hour.
Xenophobia is one of the main sources of contemporary racism, as noted by the Durban Declaration.
West Ham Labour Party believes:
By criminalising migrants, the Conservatives are stoking anti-immigration
sentiment to set a far-right policy agenda; which fuels the far-right movement.
An alternative to detention centres that treats migrants with dignity can
systematically challenge anti-immigrant sentiment.
A community-based approach to immigration and asylum systems, without
detention, encourages social inclusion and promotes human dignity. Those seeking to settle can do so whilst remaining in the country, working within their local communities and receiving legal advice. This promotes wellbeing; combating criminalisation of migrants.
West Ham Labour Party calls on:
An incoming Labour Government to end the Detention Estate and adopt a
community-led response for migrants that challenges xenophobic sentiment and supports the vulnerable.