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New Social Media campaign: Unlocking Detention – 16th October to 22nd December

City of Sanctuary are members of the Detention Forum and encourage all our supporters to promote this year’s tour of immigration Detention. 

Immigration detention is one of the biggest human rights scandals in the UK.  Many have been campaigning against it, yet the pace of change is slow. The majority of people in the UK remain completely oblivious to what immigration detention is, to the fact that people can be detained indefinitely, and to how damaging it is for those affected.

The simple truth is this. Unless you have been detained, or you know somebody who is, you are very unlikely to ever visit an immigration detention centre, know where they are, or be able to imagine what it is like to be locked inside without knowing when you will be released.

Unlocking Detention shines a spotlight on the hidden world of immigration detention.  This ‘virtual tour’ of the immigration detention estate uses Twitter, Facebook and a website to ‘unlock’ the gates of immigration detention centres. This year’s ‘tour’ runs from 16 October to 22 December 2017.

Can you join the tour and help us build a bigger voice that challenges this inhumane practice?

Each week, Unlocking Detention ‘visits’ one of the UK’s detention centres. We hear from people who have been detained there, volunteer visitors, NGOs, campaigners and the families, friends, neighbours and communities over whom detention casts its long shadows.

We need your help to raise the profile of the tour and to reach a wider audience, to get more people ready to take action against immigration detention.  You can help us in the following ways:

  • Invite your friends and supporters to ‘join’ Unlocking Detention on Twitter (@DetentionForum), our website  and Facebook. If you want to share Unlocking Detention publicity material at your events and meetings, please do get in touch with us.
  • Write a blog for Unlocking Detention to share your experience of detention or taking action against detention. Please get in touch to receive more information and our blog guidelines.
  • Send us your ‘selfies’ with one of the messages to show your support, and encourage your friends and supporters to do the same. We will be sharing these ‘selfies’ with our supporters throughout the ‘tour’. The messages can be downloaded at

When tweeting or for your Facebook or website, please feel free to use Unlocking Detention images. A link to these images can be found in the Unlocking Detention Social Media Pack. We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to our Unlocking Detention tour.

About us: The Detention Forum is a network of organisations challenging the UK’s use of immigration detention. We want to see a humane and fair immigration system, including a time limit on immigration detention and much wider use of community-based alternatives to detention, to stop the harm of immigration detention.

Many people are speaking up against this inhumane practice.  For example, Freed Voices is a group of experts-by-experience who have collectively lost over 20 years of their lives to immigration detention. Gabriel of Freed Voices describes his experience this way: Indefinite detention is a torture, it melts your brain. I’ve seen intelligent people forget how to write their names inside.”

Michael of Freed Voices adds: “There have been many times when I’ve been in a room with decision-makers or with MPs or ‘detention policy experts’. I am always amazed about how little they actually understand about the reality of detention and its impacts. It is alarming. It’s like a group of old men making policies about abortion.”

People held in immigration detention are isolated and hard-to-reach. They may be held in a centre (in prison-like conditions) hundreds of miles from where they were living, far from any city, with no public transport available. The system isolates people – and detention as a policy issue is often very remote from the minds of most members of the public.  We need your help to fight this “out of sight, out of mind” policy.

The Detention Forum team

[email protected] @DetentionForum,