Immigration detainees in UK forced to sleep on tables, chairs

Immigration detainees in the UK have been forced to sleep on tables or plastic chairs because of sub-standard provisions, the country's prisons monitor has revealed.

Facilities at Gatwick Airport, London City Airport and Dover Asylum Centre were inappropriate for overnight stays, the chief inspector of prisons said. City Airport was "unsuitable" for holding children, the report said. The government said it takes detainees' welfare seriously but that facilities may need independent monitoring.

Holding centres at ports and airports hold foreign travellers whose permission to be in the country needs to be examined by immigration officers. But none of the centres inspected, all run by private company GSL UK Limited, had adequate child protection arrangements, according to the report.

Inspectors found detainees were sleeping in inadequate conditions, there were no regular healthcare visits and suicide-prevention measures were not good enough.

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