Hunger Strikes in Immigration Removal Centres January Through December 2019

95 detainees went on Hunger Strike Hunger Strike January through March 2019

Number of Individuals Recorded as Refusing Meals in Immigration Removal Centres January Through March 2019

    Brook House 2 1 0 1

12 6 2 4

1 1 0 0

Harmondsworth 59 32 19 8

Morton Hall
17 9 3 5

Tinsley House 1 0 0 1

Tinsley House PDA
2 0 2 0

Yarl's Wood
0 0 0 0


0 0 0 0

1 0 1 0

95 49 27 19

The management of food refusal in IRCs is handled in line with Detention Services Order (DSO) 3/2013.

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 any individual over the age of 18 years has the legal right to refuse food and/or fluid. The Act assumes that a person has mental capacity to make their own decisions to refuse food and/or fluid unless it is established they lack that capacity.

IRC suppliers monitor detainees' attendance at mealtimes and keep records of those detainees who have not attended. The reasons for non-attendance are followed up after 24 hours. This information is reported daily to Immigration Enforcement staff at each centre who update a food and fluid refusal escalation log of all cases that have reached the 48 hour point (food refusal) or 24 hour point (fluid refusal). The log also records detainees who have resumed eating and /or drinking in the previous 24 hour period. Detainees who are refusing food and / or fluids are closely monitored by healthcare professionals.

Competent individuals (i.e. those that have been assessed as having mental capacity) are considered to be engaged in a food and/or fluid refusal when they fail to partake in scheduled meals for a period of 48 hours (for food) or 24 hours (for fluids), and have not been confirmed as eating food and/or taking fluid from another source (i.e. items purchased from an IRC shop) and have stated that their reasons for not eating or drinking is as a result of a protest or other grievance.

Editors note: All the data on this page, from Freedom of Information requests to the Home Office