AVID Training
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Date: Monday, 24th July 2023

Read the full letter here.

In a poignant letter addressed to His Majesty the King, a diverse coalition of refugees, asylum seekers, and individuals who call the United Kingdom home have come together to raise their collective voice against the cruelties of the government's immigration detention policies. Led by AVID staff with lived experiences of detention and others within the AVID network, the letter unveils the harsh realities faced by those detained for administrative purposes.

Key Points:

  1. Shared Suffering: The letter sheds light on a shocking total of 13 years and 5 months of collective detention, questioning the purpose behind such prolonged confinement.
  2. Colonial Echoes: Drawing parallels between historical colonial practices and the current immigration system, the writers emphasize how administrative detention establishes a hierarchy of belonging, perpetuating racialization and postcolonial dynamics..
  3. Illegal Migration Act: This Act, the writers argue, criminalizes victims of war and persecution, tearing apart safeguards for survivors of trafficking.
  4. The Royal Call: Acknowledging constitutional limits, the letter appeals to King Charles's voice and strength to prevent the Illegal Migration Act from tarnishing the fabric of modern British society rooted in hospitality
  5. Human Stories: Personal narratives from inside immigration detention centers, revealing the human cost of current policies.

This letter highlights the story of someone who used to work in Buckingham Palae, and was detained at Yarl’s Wood IRC

“I grew up learning the Queens English, cherishing the values of inclusivity within the Commonwealth. Moving to the UK, I saw a job advert to work in the Palace and I was told by friends and family not to dare because there was no possibility, I did, I succeeded and for me I thought barriers had been broken. However, years later, detention shattered that illusion.
Despite my connections to the UK, I was told to ‘integrate’ elsewhere, despite having uncles and aunties and cousins here, and I questioned the very essence of belonging. My thoughts became clouded as how much more can one be integrated into the UK system, when I have worked and learnt a lot of the history working in this very British institution. This experience awakened me to the persistence of post-colonialism, race, and economic expansionism within the system. As the new monarch, I implore you to be an interlocutor to your government, upholding the value of inclusivity that the British people desire. May your reign be a beacon of hope, declaring a future where humanity triumphs over adversity.”


A direct plea to end immigration detention, urging the monarch to witness the suffering firsthand. Signatories invite action to dismantle the oppressive system and speak to the conscience of your nation.

Note: Signatories, some anonymous, represent 20 nationalities. The letter concludes with references and a reading list.

Illustration depicting Crown estate of Immigration Detention

Watch: Hidden Stories