About Detention Action

Detention Action is a cutting-edge NGO that is transforming the debate on immigration detention. Combining service-delivery in detention centres with innovative advocacy for change, Detention Action has played a key role in collaborative campaigning for detention reform.

Detention Action’s staff and volunteers provide support and advice to migrants detained indefinitely in the two detention centres at Heathrow, as well as in prisons in the London area.  We use the evidence from our casework to make the case for urgent reform.  We play a key role in the campaign for a time limit and an end to indefinite detention, in close strategic collaboration with partners in the Detention Forum network.

This advocacy has transformed detention into a significant political issue, leading to a reduction of the use of detention by a third, the end of the systematic detention of asylum-seekers, and increased focus on alternatives to detention.

Earlier this year, we brought a successful legal challenge which prevented the removal of the majority of those due to be deported on a charter flight to Jamaica.  More recently, we challenged the Home Office on its handling of Covid-19 in detention, successfully pressuring the government into releasing hundreds of people detained as a result. 

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