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Yarl’s Wood male guards watch women shower and use the toilet – report

The government should immediately close detention centres like Yarl’s Wood, Refugee Council has said.

The call came after it emerged that male guards at Yarl’s Wood routinely watch women shower and use the toilet.

The 'I Am Human' report by Women for Refugee Women revealed that 33 out of the 38 current and former detainees, were seen by male staff in the centre in intimate situations including when naked, when in bed, when on the toilet and when in the bathroom.

Six women also told Women for Refugee Women that staff at Yarl's Wood had made sexual suggestions to them, with three alleging that they were touched sexually.

Most of the women held in such centres were victims of rape or sexual violence in their home countries.

The findings of this report are "inexcusable", said Refugee Council Head of Advocacy Dr Lisa Doyle.

"It’s unimaginable to think that the Government locks up rape victims and inappropriately leaves them under the control of male guards,” Dr Doyle said. "It’s appalling that women at Yarl’s Wood are treated like criminals, despite their only “crime” being to believe they would be safe in Britain.”
 

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