Today, on a day when news journalists are scrambling from one horrific global story to the next, we cover two events linked to the plight of women in Derwentside.
The UK’s Supreme Court is right now considering the government’s appeal against a ruling that the plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda (this link takes you directly to the proceedings).
So far, the Home Office has not implemented the main elements of the Illegal Migration Bill, passed in July. If the plan is given the go ahead by the Supreme Court judges, expect the many ugly and unworkable measures proposed in the bill to be actioned. This will include inevitably a shake up of the detention estate.
Read more here.
Getting any information into the public realm on what’s happening to the women in Hassockfield/Derwentside is hard. We do know that numbers of women arriving are rising, but we are certain the centre is still nowhere near the capacity that Serco is being paid £70 million a year to operate (a rough figure, but we do know their contract is for just under £70,000,000 for a maximum of 10 years).
We also know, like the rest of the country, that the government is particularly exercised by the largest cohort of people arriving in small boats – young men. Will this mean that the UK’s only Immigration Removal Centre with facilities designed specifically to deal with women, many of them traumatised and trafficked, will be sacrificed? Will the new cultural kitchen, which we believe has now been completed two years late, be pulled down to reinstate a football pitch? And what will be the fate of the women themselves..?
A floating nightmare
Today we have also learned that the Bibby Stockholm barge will shortly be receiving male detainees again. In Liverpool, where Bibby Maritime’s head office is based, protests by members of the labour movement have been held. This ‘solution’ to the country’s immigration crisis is costing eye watering amounts of money.
Meanwhile the recent report for the Home Office on cheaper and more humane community alternatives to detention has been shelved…