21 March 2014

Monitoring places of detention, the annual national report by the UK’s National Preventive Mechanism published last week, raises concerns about the treatment of migrants in the UK during the removal phase, stating that the use of force and restraint is disproportionate. The report also cites examples of unprofessional behaviour by escorts who used very offensive language in front of migrants detained.

The monitoring body also shows concern about the fact that there are no recognised safe procedures for the use of restraint in an aircraft when a migrant is being removed from a country. According to the report, the UK Border Agency should ensure that escorting staff receive full accredited training on the use of force and on child protection.

The report also states that there are cases of migrants experiencing aggressive behaviour on arrival by officials in their destination country. There are also cases of a lack of information on the migrants’ home country to help prepare for return.

According to the report, there has been a 4% increase in the number of people entering immigration detention centres when compared to the previous year. Of those leaving the immigration detention centres, 60% were removed from the UK.

The UK’s National Preventive Mechanism was established to monitor the UK’s obligations under the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. The report covers the period April 2012 to March 2013 and examines other places of detention, not only immigration detention.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 21 March 2014
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