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Immigrants: Detainees

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what gender-sensitive policies and procedures his Department implements in respect of women held at immigration removal centres. (307422)

[holding answer 15 December 2010]: The Detention Centre Rules 2001 (S.I. 2001/238), which regulate the operation of immigration removal centres, make specific reference to the conditions for searching of women and their entitlement to be examined by a medical practitioner of the same gender.

The UK Border Agency has a specific operation standard for women which sets out minimum auditable requirements for the provision of a safe and secure environment that meets their needs. This includes the provision of separate sleeping and dining accommodation for those centres where they can mix, equality of access to all activities within the centres, provision of activities appropriate to their needs and interests such as single-sex gym sessions, and seeking their views when arranging activities.