Do you agree with us that immigration detention should end? Too many people are suffering needlessly in Britain’s immigration detention system, without any release date, not because they are being detained for a crime but for the administrative convenience of the government. Thousands of people are locked up without trial every year and the conditions in detention are in constant threat of being undermined by a lazy managerial mindset that sees detention as the default setting.

We see this situation as counter to a core set of values that we hope you share with us.

  • Dignity
  • Compassion
  • Liberty
  • Access to justice

To achieve our objective of ending immigration detention we need a louder voice. We need a wider network of people across our society standing ready to make their voice heard to the people with the power to end detention when opportunities come. Detention Forum works through parliamentary means to achieve change, and so we need people from every walk of life to let their politicians know that indefinite immigration detention is unacceptable.

Will your organisation become a friend of Detention Forum and help us to build this wide network of supporters as part of our new ‘We Are Standing Ready’ campaign?

When the issue of detention was last discussed in parliament, we estimate that a few hundred people wrote to their MPs to support our cause and a handful visited their MPs. We aim to increase that number 100 fold so that the next time this issue is debated in parliament we want every politician to know exactly how strongly we feel about locking people up indefinitely without trial.

When your organisation becomes a friend of Detention Forum you will become connected to a growing movement speaking out against immigration detention in the UK. We will provide you with quarterly updates about our progress towards our theory of change via a newsletter, and information about how and when to ask your members/ supporters to make strategic interventions to support our objective of ending immigration detention. Your organisation will also be listed alongside many other friends standing on the right side of history with regard to immigration detention.

Timing is crucial in work that pursues change through Parliament. Your community may not wish to be involved with every element of our campaign work but we shall value your interventions with us at crucial moments. Preparing for periods of high strategic importance is therefore crucial.

During preparation time our intention is to not ask too much of our friends. Whenever possible though, we ask that you:

  • use social media to raise awareness and encourage their members to do the same

You may also want to:

  • Educate your membership about immigration detention. There are lots of resources on the Detention Forum website and our imminent you Tube channel
  • Ask your members to deliver talks in your local area or write to their local newspaper or news forum.

When the time for action comes – and we will notify you when this is – we are asking friend organisations to step up their involvement in order to:

  • encourage and empower their members to write to their MPs, drawing on the resources Detention Forum provides.
  • encourage and empower their members to visit their MPs in person to make the case against immigration detention, again drawing on resources that Detention Forum will make available to help you.
  • Encourage your members to raise the issue in their local media, for example by writing to a local newspaper (and will can provide content and templates for such stories).

We believe that if enough people from different walks of life undertake this preparation and carry out these actions at the right time, we can stop immigration detention. Our particular hope and plea is that young people join in to help us make our voice heard.

To do this we need to be ready. Please commit to help us to build our support base so that together our voices will be heard.

Many thanks

The Detention Forum



Suggested response:

Dear Detention Forum

We at [organisation] are delighted to become Friends of the Detention Forum. We commit to engaging at a low level during periods of preparation and to raising our engagement through our supporters when the time for action comes. We are standing ready.

In solidarity