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Detention policies in the United Kingdom

Policies on detention will be discussed on 1st February, in the seminar “Supporting Immigration Detainees”.

In recent years, detention policies have proliferated due to practical, political, financial, legal and moral reasons. In spite of this, a deep analysis has not taken place in order to resolve any of the questions asked.

The Migrants’ Rights Network argue that the development of detention practices has not received the attention it deserves, and they believe that an academic analysis is necessary in order to shed light upon some of the questions which emphasise the rise of these practices.

These questions concern the everyday experience of detention, the complex relationship between detention and border control, detention policies and imprisonment, the ethical challenges, and the ‘support’ offered to detainees.

These initiatives provoke certain contradictions, such as the containment of immigrants in order to uphold their detention; extraterritorial detention in order to secure territory and amongst others, the indefinite and prolonged detention and the hope of accelerating the elimination of immigration.

Regarding the above, the Migrants’ Rights Network will perform the seminar, “Supporting Immigration Detainees”, in a series of seminars which will bring together academics, professionals, artists, activists and former detainees.

These conferences will be held in London, York, Birmingham, Oxford and Lancaster; they will reflect on the ethical and methodological challenges that are caused by the study of detention.

They will analyse the changes made in the United Kingdom, such as the privatization of detention centres and the possibility of keeping track of detained immigrants.

But also, they will analyse the methods that they do not want to adopt, in spite of the fact that they have been approved by the rest of the countries in the European Union; particularly, the failure to suppress the continued use of indefinite detention.

Confirmed speakers for the seminars are as followed: Dr. Lauren Martin (Oulu University, Finland), expert on US detention system; Dr. Adeline Trude, Research and Policy Director, Bail for Immigration Detainees; Ali McGinley, Director, Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees; John Speyer, Director, Music in Detention; Dr. Joann McGregor (University College London), expert on British immigration removal centres, and Gill Baden, Campaign to Close Campsfield and the Bail Observation Project.

The seminar will take place on 1st February from 9am to 4 pm at Resource for London, 6 Middle Street (London, EC1A 7PH).

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(Translated by Emma O’Toole)

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