GEO, the multinational corporation that runs Campsfield under contract from the Home Office, not content with making huge sums of taxpayers money to imprison people whose only crime is to have come to the UK in search of a better life, is currently paying migrants £5 for six hours of work – either in the kitchen or cleaning.
In a bid to extract as much profit as possible from the misery caused by the migration regime, GEO (since taking over the running of Campsfield) has cut back on both staffing levels as well educational, recreational and other provisions at the centre. The Home Office says that migrants imprisoned in detention centres are exempt from the minimum wage and are not forced to work. But those migrants that we have spoken to have said that there is so little to do in Campsfield that working gives them something to do and takes their minds of the uncertainty of what possibly lies ahead. This in no way excuses paying them the unbelievably measly sum of 83p an hour. Especially as refreshments and food that can be bought at Campsfield cost the same as that in the outside world.
A statement by Oxford and District Trades Union says:
We maintain our position that Campsfield is a shameful operation and should be closed. As long as it is open, jobs should be properly paid and be done by trained staff. For detainees there should be adequate recreational, educational and other provision… Detainees should receive an adequate financial allowance and not be obliged to act as slave labour for a multinational that makes big profits out of an operation that causes detainees enormous stress, uncertainty, general misery and often mental illness.
One of the people currently imprisoned in Campsfield is Jean Pierre Gueutchue a victim of torture from Cameroon. Jean Pierre had been living in Cardiff until he was detained when attending his weekly signing at the UK Border Agency. He was due to be deported on 21 July but thankfully this did not take place. Despite having had no new removal directions since this time Jean Pierre continues to be imprisoned in Campsfield. We are working with members of the Campaign to Close Campsfield to get him released back to Cardiff where he belongs.
See Jean Pierre’s campaign page for ways that you can support his fight to stay.