Unlocking Detention 2018

As members of the coalition, Detention Forum, City of Sanctuary is encouraging its network of groups and streams to join in the Unlocking Detention 2018 campaign to raise awareness about our government’s inhumane immigration detention policies and in support of our Sanctuary in Parliament policy ask for an end to indefinite detention.

What is immigration detention?

In the last year, over 26,000 people were detained in the UK in prison-like conditions under immigration powers.

There is no time limit on immigration detention – meaning people have no idea when they will be released. Of those leaving detention in the last year, over a third had been there for longer than 29 days. Almost 2,500 people had been detained for longer than four months. Some are detained for years. The UK is the only country in Europe without a time limit on immigration detention.

The financial cost of immigration detention is huge. The human cost is immeasurable. There is extensive evidence of the harm that indefinite detention causes to individuals, families and communities – causing and exacerbating mental health issues, dividing people from their families and communities and undermining their ability to work on their immigration cases.

Many people are unaware that this is taking place today, in the UK, in their name. Detention centres are often remote and hard-to-reach. People held in immigration detention are isolated, often hundreds of miles from their homes, friends and family. And unless you are detained, or know someone who is, you are very unlikely to ever visit one of these centres.

Unlocking Detention is a ‘virtual tour’ of the UK’s immigration detention estate. It uses Twitter, Facebook and a website to ‘unlock’ the gates of immigration detention centres.

With your support, over the next 9 weeks we will be shining a light on the hidden corners of the UK’s immigration detention estate and calling people to action.

How can you get involved?

  • Join the tour by following @DetentionForum and #Unlocked18 on Twitter.
  • Like’ Unlocking Detention on Facebook
  • Encourage other people to join the tour. You can use the sample tweets below.
  • Help spread the word by sharing posts widely and often throughout the tour via Twitter, Facebook, websites and newsletters. We’ll be posting lots of new content on our website every week.
  • Send us your ‘selfies’ to show your support and encourage your friends and supporters to do the same. Tweet them at us with the hashtag #Unlocked18. The selfie messages can be downloaded here.

For more suggestions, visit our get involved and take action pages. If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please email [email protected].

To find out more, visit www.unlocked.org.uk.  You can download the Unlocking Detention PR Pack – 2018

Thank you for supporting Unlocking Detention!

 Sample tweets:

Unlocking Detention is a virtual tour of the UK’s immigration #detention estate, running from 22 October – 18 December. It uses Twitter, Facebook and a website to ‘unlock’ the gates of immigration detention. Join the tour by following @DetentionForum and #Unlocked18

In the last year, over 26,000 people were detained in the UK under immigration powers. There is no time limit – they had no idea when they would be released. Follow @DetentionForum #Unlocked18 to learn more about immigration #detention in the UK.

Want to know more about the shadowy world of immigration #detention? Follow @DetentionForum and #Unlocked18 to join this year’s Unlocking Detention tour, and show your support by tweeting a selfie with one of our messages:


This year, Unlocking Detention – the annual virtual tour of the UK’s immigration #detention estate – turns 5. @DetentionForum project director @EiriOhtani looks at what’s been achieved and what’s still to come: click here to join the tour.

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