The criticism is included in a report published today following a joint inquiry into the use of immigration detention by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration led by the Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather.
The panel, which included a former cabinet minister, a former chief inspector of prisons, and a former law lord, considered evidence over 8 months and took evidence from the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group.
“We were extremely concerned to hear that LGBTI detainees face bullying, harassment and abuse inside detention centres,” the report states. “This is not acceptable. There is a lack of information available about the extent to which LGBTI individuals face detention and the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance make no mention of assessments of the risks to detaining LGBTI individuals.
“We recommend that the Home Office works with the Home Office National Asylum Stakeholder Forum to properly assess what risks there are and to ensure that those LGBTI individuals who do face detention do not also face harassment.”
The inquiry demands a fundamental change in the way that immigration detention is used in the UK and calls for a 28 day time limit on the length of time anyone can be held in immigration detention. The UK is one of only a few countries in the Council of Europe that has no upper time limit, meaning people can be detained for months or years.
Meanwhile, a member of staff at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre has been suspended after an undercover TV investigation filmed guards calling inmates “animals” and “bitches”…story continues below…