Scottish Refugee Council has drawn up a manifesto for refugee protection.

We will be looking more closely at each of our key manifesto asks in the lead-up to the general election, and at events which have happened recently to bring these points into focus. We encourage you to read each party’s manifesto on refugee protection.

Nobody should be criminalised for claiming asylum. We call for an end to immigration detention; and no criminalisation of people who have entered the country irregularly.

The UK has one of the largest detention estates in Europe, and is the only European country with indefinite detention. Immigration detention was designed as a last resort, but is increasingly being used as a holding facility. Less than half (41%) of those leaving detention in the year to the end of June 2019 were removed from the UK – which begs the question, why were tens of thousands of people detained only to be released back into their community?

Seeking asylum is not a crime.

If somebody does commit a crime, then our criminal justice system should be sufficient to deal with that. Immigration detention should not be used as an additional punishment.

This week, #Unlocked19 are visiting Dungavel IRC, Scotland’s only immigration detention centre, with Scottish Detainee Visitors. Follow their journey on Twitter.

Some examples of what parties (A-Z) are saying in their manifestos on immigration detention. We encourage you to click through to each party and read their manifesto in full. 

Brexit: “Crack down on illegal immigration.”

Conservatives: “We will continue to grant asylum and support to refugees fleeing persecution, with the ultimate aim of helping them to return home if it is safe to do so.”

Green Party:  “End indefinite detention and closing down detention centres (61)”

Labour: “We will end indefinite detention, review the alternatives to the inhumane conditions of detention centres, and close Yarl’s Wood and Brook House, from which immediate savings would contribute towards a fund of £20 million to support the survivors of modern slavery, people trafficking and domestic violence. (71)”

Liberal Democrats: ” Introduce a 28 day time limit on detention; Close 7/9 detention centres”

SNP: “End indefinite detention. Pursue alternatives (46)”

UKIP: n/a


Chris Afuakwah
Author: Chris Afuakwah