Hostile environment: Unlawful detention compensation up by £3m

The amount of money paid in compensation to asylum seekers who have been illegally detained by the government has increased by over £3 million in just one year.

According to the Home Office’s annual report, the total amount of money paid out has increased by 62% – from £5.1m to £8.2m. The total number of people claiming compensation has also increased dramatically, from 212 to 312.


The government is only allowed to detain someone in an immigration detention centre if there’s a reasonable prospect of deporting them soon after. However, the government has a record of detaining asylum seekers for months and even years.

As a result, large compensation payments (reaching hundreds of thousands of pounds) have been handed out in recent years to asylum seekers who’ve suffered this treatment. These figures show that payments are continuing to rise.

Following the Windrush scandal, where dozens of people were wrongfully deported by the Home Office, the government has suggested it will ‘rethink‘ its hostile environment policy towards asylum seekers. Judging by this news, it still has a heck of a long way to go.

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