LONDON (AFP) – Immigrants have been detained in “extremely bad” conditions since arriving in the United Kingdom, according to a report released on Thursday.
The prison services inspector and Dover and Heathrow Independent Oversight Committees, which include government volunteers involved in assessing detention conditions, have visited several facilities over the past three months.
Chief Prisons Inspector Charlie Taylor said that although “previous improvements” were guaranteed in 2020, only “limited improvement” was observed.
“Prisoners, including a large number of unsupported minors, face even worse conditions (in 2021),” he explained.
Anne Urs, head of the organization’s local branch, warned the Interior Ministry that “urgent” action was needed.
The report noted that families with small children had to spend more than 24 hours in tents near Dover, the first port to come from the channel.
Women who claimed they had been raped by abductors also did not receive “adequate support.”
He cited “significant” security issues for unaccompanied minors who are “usually detained” by adults unrelated to them.
In October, researchers visited the Tag Haven Center near Dover to find temperatures dropping, especially on double-decker buses sometimes used for pajamas.
They found that many children and adults, including infants, spend the night there and some injuries (burns, cuts and bruises on the legs) go undiagnosed and untreated.
A center in London Heathrow has also cited a shortage of infrastructure and staff, where migrants are being detained before being deported from the UK.