Many constituents have recently contacted me regarding the detention of vulnerable adults and torture survivors under the current immigration system.
I share concerns over this issue entirely. Time spent in detention can be a highly retraumatising experience for torture survivors, and without access to specialist medical and therapeutic support in detention, their physical and mental health can further deteriorate.
This is simply inhumane and unacceptable and I firmly believe that current immigration policy must be revised to ensure greater protections for torture survivors.
An independent review commissioned by the Government in January 2016, the Stephen Shaw review, concluded that detention policy is in ‘urgent need of reform’ and noted a strong support for a time limit on detention starting at 28 days.
While the Immigration Act 2016 was being considered in Parliament, the House of Lords, through Opposition support, passed an amendment to introduce a 28-day limit on immigration detention, unless extended by a court in exceptional circumstances. The amendment was subsequently defeated by Government MPs and removed from the legislation.
However, a recent High Court judgement against the Government has ruled that the Home Office’s redefinition of torture in its flagship Adults at Risk immigration detention policy is unlawful.
At the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto which committed to end indefinite detention in our asylum and immigration system.