Today, we at EachOther launch a new crowdfunding campaign to help change the world with a human rights comic. The comic book we plan to produce will help immigration detainees know their rights and secure their freedom.
Immigration detention in the UK
During the course of a year, roughly 28,000 people are detained in the UK’s seven immigration removal centres. They include foreign nationals who have been stopped at the border or found in the country without a valid visa, asylum-seekers awaiting a decision on their claim, and people who have been refused permission to remain. People can be detained indefinitely under immigration powers. Usually, they are held for anything from a few days to a few years. The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 makes provision for even more people to be detained. Meanwhile, the government hopes to send some of those who are detained from the UK to Rwanda for ‘offshore’ processing.
A crucial self-help guide for detainees
Our partner charity on this Kickstarter fundraising campaign is Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID). For twenty years, they have produced a self-help guide, How To Get Out Of Detention, to help people secure their liberty. The library of every immigration removal centre, according to Home Office guidelines, must stock the guide. The document, which is available in English, French and Romanian, can also be found on BID’s website. BID’s latest Legal Advice Survey of former immigration detainees suggests that around a fifth of them are aware of the guide.
An even more accessible comic-book version
The point of our new, month-long crowdfunding campaign is to raise funds to produce a 40-page comic version of this 63-page self-help guide. Graphic artist Jon Sack will ‘translate’ the guide into a comic book, which will also feature pages from Sabba Khan, Rumbidzai Savanhu, Dominique Duong and Shazleen Khan. Our experience tells us comics can be an effective format to take on difficult stories and address complicated legal matters. We want to make the vital information that BID’s guide contains even more attractive and accessible for the detainees who need it. One of EachOther’s charitable objectives is to inform people about their rights. Too many immigration detainees do not understand what bail is, or that they can apply for it without a lawyer.
Our crowdfunding targets
If we can raise the initial target of just over £25,000, then we can make the comic and distribute copies of it to every immigration removal centre in the UK. We will also identify some ‘stretch’ targets, enabling us, for instance, to animate a digital version of the comic.
Help people held under immigration powers know their rights
The UK’s Human Rights Act safeguards everyone’s rights to liberty, family life and freedom from degrading treatment. Immigration detainees, regardless of how or why they came to this country, are no exception. Please help us help them to stand up for their rights by donating what you can to this important campaign.