Siril Berglund 0

Student Action for Refugees Against Detained Fast Track in the UK

15 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
Siril Berglund 0 Comments
15 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

 STAR has  teamed up with Detention Action for our national Action Week to campaign against the Detained Fast Track.
People are being detained by the Home Office while their claim for asylum is processed!  It's called the Detained Fast Track and it's got to stop!

Sign this petition asking that people should not be detained in immigration detention centres from the moment they claim asylum. 
Some people who are seeking refugee protection in the UK are being selected for a system where they are detained in prison like conditions for the duration of their application. This is the Detained Fast Track and STAR says it's wrong that asylum seekers are detained without charge, purely for administrative ease. 

Detained Fast Track  - What is it? 
Detained Fast Track (DFT), introduced in 2003, is part of the UK asylum  system where asylum seekers are held in detention for the duration of their  application when the UKBA (UK Border Agency, part of the Home Office) think that an individual’s case is a simple one and can be decided quickly. 

By using information the UKBA collect at a  screening interview at the start of the asylum
process. However, the only information  collected as this point is very basic, such as their country of origin and does not go into the  details of their asylum claim. Screening
interviews tend to be very short and held in  non-confidential environments, making it very  difficult for individuals to disclose sensitiveinformation. 
The IRCs where those in the Detained Fast Track are held are prison-like facilities. More and more people are being fast tracked and over 2,000 asylum seekers are currently held in this way every year. In 2008, the government announced a target of fast tracking 30% of asylum seekers.
Detention is Wrong
In Britain we have a long, proud history of protecting people fleeing  persecution and preventing the detention of those who have done nothing  wrong. The detention of asylum seekers goes against both of these traditions.
It is wrong to lock up people who are fleeing persecution as soon as they arrive in the UK. The UK has signed the UN convention on refugees and therefore it's perfectly legal to claim asylum.
It Doesn’t Work
The asylum process is supposed to examine the facts put by the person asking for protection and grant refugee status to those who need it.
DFT is ineffective at finding out the true facts of an asylum case and punishes rather than protects those who need it. 
There is good evidence that a successful asylum system allows asylum seekers to live in the community, receive good legal advice and engage with the people making a decision on their claim. 
This was trialled in 2008 under a programme called the Solihull Pilot and found that:

- Cases were concluded almost twice as quickly as those elsewhere
- Better, more sustainable decisions meant that the number of allowed appeals was halved
- “Considerable potential savings” were identified.  The lower rate of allowed appeals meant that the rise in the Legal Aid budget could be offset by significant savings in UKBA support,  Legal Service Commission funds and Tribunal costs
- The number of people absconding reduced significantly
- The rate of grants of refugee status almost doubled
- The number of removals (as a proportion of refusals) increased

It Harms Vulnerable People
The screening process to decide who is put into Detained Fast Track is very short, public
and ineffective and leads to vulnerable people being locked up. 
The Home Office states that children, heavily pregnant women, victims of torture and
trafficking and people with severe mental or physical disabilities should not be put into
Detained Fast Track. However, a recent government report found that of 114 cases originally thought suitable for Fast Track, 30% had to be released. For example, a Zimbabwean politician, who arrived in the UK with obvious and unhealed torture wounds on his head, was
put into DFT.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said that the UK’s inadequate screening processes means that rape victims and torture survivors can find themselves being led off to a detention centre, sometimes in handcuffs, as soon as they arrived in Britain to claim asylum, which he described as “inhumane.

Sign this petition asking that people should not be detained in immigration detention centres from the moment they claim asylum.

Useful resources:
UNHCR Detention guidelines:

Share for Success