Vulnerable asylum seekers are being exposed to “much-increased risk” because of the “perilous” conditions in immigration detention centres.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) has expressed grave concern over the poor conditions in centres in which the Home Office has placed this group of vulnerable people.
Professor Cornelius Katona, the lead author of the Royal College of Psychiatrists report, said: “The perilous conditions of immigration detention centres are putting a vulnerable group of people at a much-increased risk of worsening mental health and suicide.
“The government must stop detaining asylum seekers and survivors of trafficking with a mental illness and allow them to receive the support they need, either in the community or in an inpatient setting.
“Staff working in these centres must also be trained in identifying the early signs of a mental illness and on safeguarding detainees with limited decision-making capacity.”
Most asylum seekers are survivors of unimaginable situations including torture and trafficking. The perilous state in immigration centres further increases their vulnerability and worsens their mental health as well as, increasing the risk of suicide.
Despite the increased risk in immigration detention centres, the home secretary, Priti Patel is said to be making plans to further toughen conditions. Under the new immigration plans, trafficking survivors will have to remain in detention as a way of limiting serious criminals from taking advantage of modern slavery safeguards.
The Home Office`s plans which are expected to take effect from 25 May – will require suspected victims of modern slavery to go through the Adults at Risk process and provide medical evidence that their ongoing detention exposes them to “future harm”.
In a statement, Home Office spokesperson said the department was committed to identifying vulnerabilities of this group and ensuring that asylum seekers get the necessary medical care in detention.