In 2013 STAR teamed up with Detention Action for our national Action Week to campaign against the Detained Fast Track, a system where people are detained by the Home Office while their claim for asylum is processed. See below for what we did.

In the same year Detention Action mounted a legal challenge against the Home Office to ask for the Detained Fast Track to be ended and in 2015 they won!

Action week 2013

Students Against Detention

STAR Campaign Actions for Action Week!

  • Street Action: raise the profile of detention by tying yourselves into a human chain, symbolic of the restrictions placed on asylum seekers.
  • Quiz: quiz the public and find out if people agree with us on the simple principle that the detention of asylum seekers is wrong. This will be an opportunity to bust some myths!
  • Petition: get as many signatures as possible against the Detained Fast Track from other students and members of the public to show your local MPs that this is an issue people really care about.
  • Speaker event: Educate your fellow Students with a speaker event. STAR has made a film with testimonials from ex-detainees as well as staff from Detention Action.

Your Action Pack contains the following:

Action Pack Contents

Background Information
Top Tips for Action Week
Campaign Actions Toolkit
Student Media Guidance

Download your full Action Pack 2013 to guide you through every aspect of Action Week!!

Download our template letter to send with your petitions to you local MP. Click here!

Child Detention

In 2011, the UK government committed to doing everything in its power to end the ‘shameful’ practice of detaining children for immigration purposes. Yet in 2011, the UK immigration system still locked up 99 children who came to the UK seeking protection.

STAR is calling on the British Government to uphold its commitment to eradicating child detention and family separation.

Even being detained for a short amount of time is very traumatic for children. The stress of detention can lead to anxiety and symptoms such as bedwetting, nightmares and weight loss. Mental health issues such as self-harm and depression can also arise as a result of being detained, or from the very threat of being detained.

STAR believes that the immigration system must ensure that the welfare of children and their families is protected and that they are treated humanely throughout the asylum process.

History of STAR campaigning on child detention

  • In 2010 STAR teamed up with The Children’s Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees, to support the Outcry! Campaign. This campaign, which made a vital contribution to campaigning for an end to the immigration of children, came to an end in April 2011
  • In 2011, in response to public outcry, the government closed the children’s wing in Yarlswood Detention Centre and opened a new pre-departure accommodation centre called Cedars where children can now be detained for up to 72 hours. Children are also routinely detained at the border, and at Tinsley House immigration removal centre. STAR has joined forces with End Child Detention Now to demand a total end to the immigration detention of children. STARs across the UK have sent hundreds of campaign postcards calling on the government to Keep Your Promise of ending child detention.
  • At STAR National Conference 2011 STARs teamed up to hold a flashmob with one key message: Stop Child Detention!


Take Action

There are lots of ways your STAR group can take action to end child detention.


Follow Manchester STAR, Birmingham STAR and Queen Mary’s STAR and hold a stall or flashmob outside your Students’ Union to make people aware that children are being detained. Check out the Events Guide to find out how!



Watch one of these fantastic short videos documenting children’s experiences of the asylum process in the UK, including immigration detention. Then post one on facebook and tell your friends to watch it too!

Keep your promise

Send a postcard to British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg asking them to keep their promise of ending child detention.

Latest News

Comment is Free article – 23rd October
Britain’s Still Locking up Children

Coverage of STAR End Child Detention flashmob – 21st November
STAR Conference in STOP! Child Detention Plea

A letter to the Guardian from the Refugee Children’s Consortium – 9th September:
Act now on child refugee detainees

A statement by the OutCry! campaign – 16th September:
OutCry! concern about government wavering on child detention pledge

STAR’s article on the policy of detaining children – 26th August:
The battle to end child detention is not over

Torture Survivors in Detention


In May 2012, Medical Justice exposed that torture survivors who have fled horrific treatment in their countries of origin to seek protection in Britain are routinely being held in immigration detention centres in the United Kingdom. This is against Home Office rules.

Mia from Cambridge STAR said, “it is totally outrageous that even where protections are in place the government is flouting its own rules! STARs are in a unique place to tell their MPs about this injustice.”

STAR’s all across the country have written to their MPs to express outage and to demand that the Home Office complies with its own rules.

Take Action

Here are three simple actions that you can take to defend the rights of torture survivors.

Read the article
Read this article to get the facts. Then tell your friends!

Watch the film
Check out this news feature by our very own STAR Gradate – and STAR founder – Andy Davies!

Early Day Motion
Email your MP on behalf of your STAR group and ask them to sign this Early Day Motion 95: Detention of Torture Survivors. Not sure how to contact your MP? It’s easy! Just type in your postcode here.

Download the full report here