African Women Voices

Detained women to be supported by campaign

Pregnant women detained in British immigration removal centres are to be the centre of a charity campaign.

On July 17 Medial Justice, announced the campaign will be accompanied by a research project. The announcement was made during a public meeting entitled  ‘Pregnant Women being detained in violation of UKBA policy – Who is responsible and what can be done?’

The campaign will aim to challenge the disputed behaviour of UK Border Agency towards pregnant women detained in immigration removal centres.

Based on the UK policies, a woman should be detained while waiting to be removed from the country.

But a report from Medical Justice shows that in a case where 75 women were held in detention, only five were removed, and 52 were released.

Dr Ben Richardson regularly visits detained women and is concerned about the healthcare quality in the centres. He said:

Detention centres should have the same level of healthcare as the NHS, but the lack of logistic, will and governance cause a lower level of healthcare, which particularly damages pregnant women.

Beatrice was detained for 65 days with her three children in 2009. She said:

If you are pregnant you have to keep a good health but in that situation you have no thirst or hunger.

Beatrice was not pregnant during her detention but she said that seeing other women suffering convinced her to establish a group for and run by refugees.

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