Detention Centres: Hunger Strikes

Home Office written question – answered on 19th January 2021.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Chair, Women and Equalities Committee, Chair, Women and Equalities Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in immigration removal centres are on hunger strike as of 14 January 2021.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Chair, Women and Equalities Committee, Chair, Women and Equalities Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in immigration removal centres have refused fluid and food for 24 hours or more in the last 12 months.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

We take the welfare and safety of persons detained in our care very seriously and their health is monitored closely at all times and particularly during periods where they appear to be or are not consuming food and or fluid. Persons detained who appear to be or are not consuming food and or fluid are managed in line with published guidance, Detention Services Order (DSO) 3/2017, ‘Care and Management of Detainees Refusing Food and Fluid’.

It is not uncommon for persons detained to refuse set meals at times of fasting, or for religious or dietary reasons. Individuals may also prefer to purchase their own food and drink from the local shop within an Immigration Removal Centre.

As there may be many reasons why an individual is not eating set meals, the Home Office does not publish data on the number of individuals who are being managed in line with the DSO.

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