Yarl’s Wood: Women no longer held as centre repurposed for Channel migrants

Responding to a change in the operations of Yarl’s Wood detention centre, Claudia Webbe, Member of Parliament for Leicester East, said:

“I am delighted that one chapter of the brutal history of Yarl’s Wood seems to be ending, and I wholeheartedly congratulate the many activists and survivors for their victory.

“Yarl’s Wood has come to be synonymous with the violent, institutionalised racism and sexism that has been hardwired into our immigration system. The strength and bravery of those who are in or have left detention is a source of constant inspiration and are living proof that – together – we can build a fairer world.

“The women held in Yarl’s Wood have suffered barbaric and appalling instances of human rights abuses. I am glad that they will no longer be held in such depraved conditions. The Home Office must now go further by ending their indefinite detention and abolishing Yarl’s Wood altogether as a detention centre.

“The government must recognise that Yarl’s Wood is not fit for purpose and ensure that asylum seekers arriving across the channel do not suffer within its walls.

“The government will not end the detention crisis unless it completely changes course. That means repealing the 2014 Immigration Act, ending the destructive demonisation of migrants and asylum seekers, and shutting all detention centres for good.”


Claudia Webbe MP

Member of Parliament for Leicester East

This is in response to:

BBC: Yarl’s Wood: Women no longer held as centre repurposed for Channel migrants

Yarl’s Wood is no longer being used as an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) for women and has been repurposed to house Channel migrants, the BBC understands.

Sources suggest the last few female detainees left the site, near Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire, last week.

In May, the population of Yarl’s Wood and other IRCs was reduced dramatically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now the centre is being used to house dozens of Channel migrants to check their health and immigration status.

It is thought a lack of capacity in Dover is also behind the move.

Yarl’s Wood, which opened in 2001, can hold around 400 detainees. The vast majority of them are women. [Read more]