Migrant Detention in the European Union: A Thriving Business

In the UK, corporations like G4S, Serco, Mitie and Capita make millions locking up migrants in privately run detention centres. Many other less known companies also jostle for contracts in the detention industry, for example providing healthcare, cleaning or construction services. Britain is a pioneer in detention outsourcing, hurtling towards the model of the massive US private prison industry.

But detention outsourcing is also taking off across Europe. This meeting will present the new research report  "Migrant detention in the EU: a thriving business. Outsourcing and privatisation of migrant detention" (written by Migreurop, the European and African migration network; published in November 2016 by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office), which maps the rise of the privatised migration detention business across the European Union.

For example, in Italy, where the Mafia Capitale scandal revealed the hold of mafia networks on the Italian detention market; and in France, where a construction company hired undocumented migrant workers to build a detention centre that would later hold the very same migrants. The report analyses the impact of this trend on migrants, and on our politics and society in general.

After a presentation of the report, there will be short contributions on recent UK developments by Corporate Watch and the Institute for Race Relations (IRR), two organisations which have consistently analysed and exposed the detention industry in the UK, a report about G4S and asylum seekers accommodation by South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) and one on private health "care" in detention by the Detention Monitoring Group.

Agenda of the event:

  • 6 – 6.20pm | Introduction: Bill McKeith (Barbed Wire Britain/Close Campsfield Campaign/Migreurop) and Florian Horn (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office)
  • 6.20 – 6.45pm | Presentation of the report: Lydie Arbogast (Migreurop, author of the report) + Questions
  • 6.45 – 7.15pm | Recent UK developments in the field of the detention industry: Dariush Sokolov (Corporate Watch) and Harmit Athwal (Institute for Race Relations - IRR) + Questions
  • 7.15 – 7.30pm | G4S and asylum seekers accommodation: Stuart Crosthwaite or John Grayson (South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group - SYMAAG) + Questions
  • 7.30 – 7.45pm | Private health “care” in detention: Liz Peretz (Detention Monitoring Group) + Questions

The evening will conclude with an open forum for researchers and campaigners to come together, make links across borders and plans for the future.

Tuesday 28 March 2017 | 6pm
Praxis | Pott Street | London E2 0EF

(round corner from Bethnal Green underground, buses 8, 106, 254, 388; easy access and toilet facilities for wheelchair users and pushchairs)

In cooperation with:
Campaign to Close Campsfield
Corporate Watch