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Detention Centres: Translation Services

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what appointment procedures individuals, organisations or companies providing interpretation services in detention or immigration centres are subject to; what account is taken of the specific needs of those in detention and immigration centres in such appointment procedures; whether specific training is provided for those working as interpreters; and if she will make a statement. (223573)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: Immigration Removal and Detained Fast Track Centres will either call on the services of an interpreter from the United Kingdom Border Agency panel of freelance interpreters for face to face interpretation or a commercial supplier for telephone interpretation. Detainee needs vary but are taken into account when arranging an interpreter as far as practicably possible.

Asylum seekers are offered the option of an interviewer and interpreter of a specific gender. Applicants are made aware of this during screening procedures and this is acted on as far as operationally possible.

Interpreters registered with the United Kingdom Border Agency panel of interpreters do receive training which is either one or two day in duration depending on the level of public service interpreting experience they hold.