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SDS CONFERENCE 26th & 27th of April 2013 at SOAS


SDS is proud to host the conference:

‘A Future Without Immigration Detention?’

26th & 27th of April 2013 at SOAS

SOAS Detainee Support Group in cooperation with the SOAS Migration Department are organising the conference ‘A future without Immigration Detention?’ on the 26th and 27th of April at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. The conference is aimed at those who already have some understanding, expertise and/or experience with migration and immigration detention, such as ex-detainees, students of migration, immigration law practitioners and academics in the field. We expect 250 participants who will be asked to pay a registration fee to attend.

The conference will be organised in two parts: On Friday a speaker will give a keynote that provides the inspiration and framework for the conference. On Saturday, we will focus on controversies related to immigration detention, such as medical concerns, political impact, legal rights and economic effects and a variety of viable alternatives to immigration detention. This will be done through in-depth discussions, group debates and workshops.

Our objectives for the conference are:

  • To use the collective experience and knowledge of participants to create a vision of a future without immigration detention.
  • To consider the roots and current situation of immigration detention in the UK and Europe and to place immigration detention within the wider context of the global migration regime.
  • To give insight into different alternatives to immigration detention through lectures, discussions and workshops.
  • Although not the main focus, to raise awareness and allow students and other members of the public to educate themselves about immigration detention.
  • To provide a platform for networking and idea exchange between different organisations and individuals working towards an end to immigration detention.
  • To create momentum and to empower individuals to take positive action.

For more information, or to share your ideas, get involved or participate, please contact:

For more information: see


This would be a combination of an AGM where we will inform you of our activities but the main focus will be the Symposium about SDS becoming a charity. If you can not attend this date, but are keen to come please inform us asap as if necessary we might change the date to a later time. Please RSVP though if you can make it.
For any other questions please send an email to or simply reply to this email.
A detailed program will come later on, however this would be the questions we would be discussing.
1) Constitution: although previous sds members have spent a lot of time on writing these comprehensive documents, we never actually approved them. We would go through them again just to see whether we still agree with them. We will make sure they have been checked for legality beforehand.
2) Trustees/Director: It would be essential for us to have people who are willing to be trustees, who should be separate from the executive body of SDS as a society.
3) Relationship to the society: This also means we would have to reconfigure the boundaries between SDS as a society and this new Charity.
Why do we want to become a charity?
-It would allow us to more easily apply for funding for our Paid coordinator.
-It would perhaps allow us more employees. -Our income is starting to exceed £5000 a year.
-The SU has certain regulations of numbers of SOAS students within societies and this way we can continue expanding the diversity of our group.
-The SU has changed rules regarding banking, so we would no longer be able to have our own banking account.
-It would allow us to harness the knowledge of former members by keeping them involved in the trustee positions.

SOAS Detainee Support Group Training 27th October 2012

Thanks everyone for coming to our Training on the 27th of October. We will be in touch about when our next training will be held.

09.30 Welcome

09.35 What does SDS do? Short overview of the organisation’s activities and history

09.45 What is Immigration Detention? An ex-detainee speaks about life in Yarl’s Wood.

10.00 What is the legal process? A solicitor goes through the basics of the legal system regarding immigration detention

11.00 Who are Medical Justice?
12.00 A home-cooked Pakistani lunch
13.00 What can you get involved in? SDS corners:

-SDS film


-Detainees voices



14.00             Little Bit about Emotional Well-Being

14.15             Practicalities of visiting and the nuances of vending machines

14.30             Case studies and role play
17.00            Feedback

In G51, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

On the 27th of October 2012 SDS is organising another annual training. The purpose of this training is to train up new visitors to immigration detention centres.

It will be an full day event (09.30 – 17.00 ) and the full program will be published shortly. However expect an explanation of the legal system concerning especially asylum, an ex-detainee speaking on their experience of detention, a talk by Medical Justice and several workshops. Lunch will be provided and we request a £5 donation to cover the costs of the lunch and the handbook that you will be provided with.

If you want to have an idea of the training would like you can check out the pictures of last years training:


Thanks to everyone who made our Release Party on the 28th of September such a succces!

The bands were all great:

Victor Menace:
Hackney’s Homegrown Ninja Folk Frenzy

Gypsy Fever:
Manic gypsy fusion to stir your nomadic soul and feet

Dance into the future to the sound of reggae roots vibrations
DJ Steaz (We Are Dubist) and Sambatage

All of this sown together and deliciously spiced by Pete the Temp!

Expect another party to come up soon!