Helen Bamber Foundation welcomes suspension of Detained Fast Track

Today the Government announced that it would temporarily suspend the operation of a “fast track” system for processing asylum seekers in detention, known as the Detained Fast Track. The Helen Bamber Foundation, which has long worked to ensure victims of trafficking or torture are not detained, welcomed the news.

TJ Birdi, Executive Director of the Helen Bamber Foundation, commented: “This is a recognition by the Government of the serious harm done to vulnerable people unlawfully detained whilst trying to claim asylum. In our recent 20 week study, of 304 people referred to the Helen Bamber Foundation in 2015, 92% should not have been detained in the first place, because there was evidence they had been trafficked or tortured.

When the Detained Fast Track was introduced 15 years ago, the Home Office promised that people who had been tortured would not be placed in detention. It failed to follow its own safeguards and, as a result, thousands of traumatised men and women were subjected to further unnecessary suffering. We now look forward to working with the Government to develop a humane and fair alternative to the current system that will treat people justly and support them in rebuilding their lives.”

2 July 2015