Immigration, Institutions

How to Get Out of Detention: A Comic for Immigrant Detainees

Published on 18 Oct 2022

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In October, human rights charity EachOther, working in partnership with BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees) a charity , is crowdfunding to raise money for a comic book version of BID’s self-help guide, How To Get Out Of Detention. This guide is legally required in all detention centres in the UK, but we want to make a comic book version that will make it more accessible for non-English speakers. While the guide is already a crucial resource for many migrants held in the UK’s detention centres, we believe it is vital that more people detained under immigration powers know about their rights. We will translate and repackage this document from a 63-page legal guide into an even more accessible and inspirational 40-page comic book that people will want to read and will be better able to understand. We’ll do this work mainly with the artist Jon Sack but we’re excited to also be working with Sabba Khan again, and with Rumbidzai Savanhu, Dominique Duong and Shazleen Khan for the first time.

At any one time in the UK, there are around 2,000 people held in immigration removal centres across the UK. People held in immigration detention can be kept there for anything from a few days to years. During the course of a year, roughly 28,000 people are detained using immigration powers in an immigration removal centre. There are seven immigration removal centres across the UK. The charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) produces this self-help guide to support people to get out of immigration detention on bail, and has done for 20 years. Since 2005, a hard copy of the guide must be stocked in the library of each immigration removal centre (IRC) in the UK, according to the UK Immigration Service’s Detention Operating Standards Manual. BID’s latest ‘Legal Advice Survey’ of former immigration detainees suggests that currently approximately a fifth of them are aware of the guide, equivalent to 5,600 people per year.


EachOther is a UK-focused charity that uses independent journalism, story-telling and film-making to put the human into human rights. The digital content we produce is grounded in the lived experience of ordinary people affected by human rights issues. We involve them in the process of developing their stories, rather than talking for or over them. Theirs are the voices we platform and amplify to our lay audience of over a million viewers each year. In this way, we hope to grow public support for human rights here in the UK.

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