Immigration: Translation Services

Home Office written question – answered at on 7 May 2024.

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Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Trade), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Shadow PC Chief Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance his Department has issued on the provision of culturally appropriate oral and written professional translation when communicating with (a) applicants for asylum, (b) people in immigration detention, (c) people appealing application decisions and (d) people identified for deportation to Rwanda.

Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Trade), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Shadow PC Chief Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what culturally appropriate oral and written professional translation services are provided by his Department when communicating with (a) applicants for asylum, (b) people in immigration detention, (c) people appealing application decisions and (d) people identified for deportation to Rwanda.

Photo of Michael Tomlinson Michael Tomlinson Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)

The Home Office aims to provide interpreter and translation services for refugees and asylum seekers at public expense whenever and wherever necessary. Interpreters are engaged by the Home Office to act on its behalf. They are not Home Office employees and undertake freelance work commissioned by the Home Office. In some circumstances interpreting services are provided by commercial partners.

Interpreters/translators engaged are required to operate to a high standard on a range of protection-based and human rights topics including (though not limited to) religious conversion, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), sexuality and gender-based claims, all types and forms of persecution, medical (physical and mental health) and political activity.

The Home Office also works with other commercial providers and public sector bodies which provide interpreters and linguists to ensure the best sector-wide standards are applied.

Guidance on the use of interpretation and translation services, Detention Services Order ‘Interpretation Services and use of Translation Devices’, was published in July 2022. This guidance sets out the provisions, including interpretation services and translation devices, available for individuals held in immigration detention and the circumstances in which these should be used.

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