There is between 2500 and 3500 people held in immigration detention centres in the UK at any given point. Last year around 27000 people entered detention.
The UK is the only country in EU with no limit on how long a person can be detained for. This means people can be held in for literally years in what is essentially a limbo, in conditions and security levels equivalent to prison. While some of the detainees have had a criminal conviction, they have already served their sentence. Others have never committed any crime, and their past experiences include war, trauma or torture. And yet, the unlawful practices, violation and abuse that goes down in the centres makes the idea of coming to the UK hoping for a better life absurd.
Detention does not serve anyone's interest. It literally shatters lives, robs people off their faith, the sense of order, reality and justice, and their sense of self-worth.
Working with detainees has given me a new purpose and showed me how much a small thing you do for someone else can mean for them. It also made me realise, and constantly reminds me that we are fighting a system that is heavily flawed, in a country obsessed with control and enforcement.
That is why I am asking you to help me collect a donation for Detention Action, an organisation which supports people in immigration detention and campaigns for fundamental reform. Detention Action is entirely independent from the government, the Home Office, and detention centres. To find out more about their work, how much they have already achieved and how much there still is to fight for, please visit www.detentionaction.org.uk.
Please donate as much or as little as you can, and share widely. Make a small difference today.