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Immigration Detention of Pregnant Women

Volume 602: debated on Thursday 26 November 2015

10. What discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on immigration detention of pregnant women. (902388)

Published Home Office policy states that pregnant women should not usually be detained unless there is a prospect of early safe removal. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary asked Stephen Shaw, the former prisons and probation ombudsman for England and Wales, to review the detention of vulnerable individuals. His report and the Government response will be published before the Immigration Bill completes its passage through Parliament.

I welcome the Minister’s statement. In 2014, 99 pregnant women were detained at Yarl’s Wood, and I understand that there are some remaining cases. Will the Minister use her good offices to expedite those cases?

I will make sure that the Home Office looks carefully at all the cases my right hon. Friend has raised. I repeat that pregnant women should not routinely be detained. The Home Office is currently considering Stephen Shaw’s review on detainee welfare, and we will publish his report before the Immigration Bill completes its passage.

I agree with the right hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman). This is a big problem, but it is about the providers. What discussions will the Minister have with Serco, Mitie, G4S and other providers about the detention of pregnant women?

The Home Office has regular discussions with all providers to make sure that appropriate treatment is given to all vulnerable people held in detention. I repeat that the Stephen Shaw review will be published shortly.