The centre encourages activities and provides facilities to preserve and promote the mental and physical well-being of adults and children.

25. Families have regular access to activities and facilities that meet their needs.

The following indicators describe evidence that may show this expectation being met. They do not exclude other ways of achieving it.

  • Activities and facilities provide physical and mental stimulation for children and adults.
  • Families are free to move throughout the centre. Any restrictions are justified by clear evidence of risk.
  • Families have access to a suitable library and learning resources every day, including at weekends.
  • The quantity and quality of library material are sufficient to meet the needs of the population. They include books, newspapers, dictionaries, CDs and DVDs in languages that correspond with the major language and national groups in the population.
  • Suitable activities are provided for children of all ages, including exercise, play opportunities, access to the fresh air and education where appropriate and practicable.
  • Fitness provision is safe, easily accessible and meets the needs of all detainees.

Human rights standards

Access to activities
In relation to expectation 25 above: Human rights standards require detainees to be allowed to participate in activities that allow for social interaction and meet their welfare needs. Freedom of movement should be restricted as little as possible. See EPR 25; SMR 105; CPT 5.

Standards also require that detainees must be provided with access to educational programmes that meet their needs and aspirations. See ICESCR 13; SMR 104; EPR 28; UNHCR–DG 8[48(xiii)]; CPT 5. In addition, detainees must have access to an adequately stocked library. See SMR 63, 64; EPR 28.5; UNHCR–DG 8[48(xii)].

Standards also recognise the need for detainees to be able to safely undertake adequate exercise and maintain their fitness. See SMR 23; EPR 25, 27; UNHCR–DG 8[48(viii)]; CPT 5.

In relation to children, see HR 38 and 39 (education), 41 (library provision), 47 (recreation); CRC 28, 29 (education), and 31 (rest, leisure and play); CPT 10 (activities and centres catering specifically for children).