Although returnees were generally treated fairly on charter flights removing them from the UK, some aspects of their enforced removal fell short of humane treatment according to the Independent Monitoring Board Charter Flight Monitoring Team (IMB CFMT).
In its first annual report, covering six charter flight removals to Lagos, Accra, Jamaica, Islamabad and Tirana, the IMB CFMT found:
- returnees enduring long periods of detention on coaches;
- returnees being denied dignity and privacy whilst using toilet facilities; and
- inconsistent access for returnees to the Chief Immigration Officer during the flight.
Chartered Flight Monitoring Team leader, Lou Lockhart-Mummery, said:
“It is important to have independent people present during the removal process to ensure that people are treated fairly and with humanity during a stressful experience. On the whole the escorts behaved professionally and respectfully and we observed some aspects of good practice. However, we feel that the process could be greatly improved through providing for basic dignity and by ensuring that the use of force or restraint is based on an individual risk assessment and is continually reviewed”.
The full report is published on www.imb.org.uk/reports/