#Human Rights
UK Government
United Kingdom

Freedom NOW for the women of Yarls Wood

Yarls Wood detention centre holds just over 400 women; women who have been raped, sexually abused and tortured. Women who face persecution because of their sexuality. disabled women, pregnant women, women over 60, critically ill women; Women, who have been in the UK for years, established families, friends and lives here along with women fleeing persecution who are arrested as soon as they arrived. Most are placed on Detained Fast Track procedure, which seeks to deport as many people as possible, as quickly as possible with minimum legal support or time to build a case.

The truth is that many of the abuses and tortures faced by women of the world are not recognised as grounds for asylum; the threat of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, rape, trafficking and sexual abuse alone are not considered ‘enough’ for the UKBA and Home Office. Women routinely face reliving their nightmares and abuse only to be told that it’s not good enough, that they will be ‘safe’ if they go back to the country where they were abused, where their abusers still lived completely backed by the state. This must change; women should be a protected group in the same way LGBT people are considered or people from national minorities or political organisations who face persecution.

Led by a group of lesbian women in detention, the Yarls Wood Movement for Justice group has now grown to include many more women both lesbian and straight; all are determined to fight for their freedom and the freedom of all women in detention; an end to the racist and abusive system of detaining people who have committed no crime other than seek a life free from torture, persecution, abuse and poverty and the freedom to study, live, work and be exactly who they are.

Together the Yarls Wood Movement for Justice Group has voted on a set of demands for immediate improvement in the conditions of detention (cleaning work that only pays 50p an hour, blocks on the internet and lack of printing facilities) and the overarching goal of freedom for all and an end to detention.

1. Respect for our human rights - Release us now

2. No more Fast Track

3. Unblock the internet & allow internet access to our petition link and printing of petition materials

4. Pay us at least the minimum wage for the work we do in detention

5. No more copy & paste of case decisions - we need fair trial

6. No more charter flights

7. End deportation - End detention

8. We need freedom - legal status for us all in the UK

The entire immigration system is racist, homophobic, sexist and rotten to the core. The collective organisation of detainees in detention combined with a militant and determined fight in all of our communities across the UK can be the death knell of this poisonous system that has robbed from us so many of our sisters, brothers, neigbour’s, cousins, fathers, mothers, workmates and friends.

This pernicious effect has been highlighted dramatically with the threatened deportation of almost 3000 students from London Met University – the time to fight is now; student and non student, detained and not detained, citizen and non-citizen, International student and UK student – we must stand together for a new Britain, a better Britain: diverse, multiracial, integrated and equal.

We support the women of Yarls Wood detention centre and their fight for freedom. We demand that their demands for better treatment and increased freedoms in detention are met.

The abuse, torture and rape of women must be grounds for asylum.


We also call for the ending of detention and fast track.

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The Support the women of Yarls Wood - END DETENTION petition to UK Government was written by Movement for Justice and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.