About us

Information last updated on December 14, 2018

Thousands of people are held in high security immigration detention centres across the UK.

Many are asylum seekers whose claims have been refused or are being processed.  Others are non-UK citizens or refugees who have completed prison sentences, often after living lawfully in the UK for many years.  Others have overstayed their visas. None have a time limit on how long they can be detained.

They are often distressed at being locked up in the UK, traumatised by their experiences in their home country and fearful of being forcibly returned. Isolated and confused, many experience depression and psychological deterioration.

People in immigration detention centres often have very limited understanding of English, the legal system or their rights. Detention Action provides the vital support and advice that they need to cope in detention and navigate the system.

We support people held in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook  and Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centres and people held under immigration powers in London prisons. We are completely independent from the government and from the detention centres.

“It’s only with the help of a network of support that someone in detention can be brought up out of a state of despair, otherwise you just can’t function. Detention Action’s support brought me confidence and the knowledge that I am not alone.”
William Kapato, detained for 3 years

Detention Action campaigns for an end to indefinite detention in the UK and the introduction of alternatives to detention. We lobby government, produce authoritative research and organise events to raise awareness about the injustice that people in detention are facing. We challenge stereotypes and ensure that people in immigration detention centres are heard.

Are you in detention? / 0800 587 2096 / How we can help