Families are treated with respect by all staff, with proper regard for the uncertainty of their situation and their cultural backgrounds. Complaints and feedback procedures are effective.

17. Families are treated with humanity and respect for their human dignity at all times. Relationships between detainees and staff are positive and courteous.

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

  • Staff and detainees are fair and courteous to each other.
  • Staff have training in and show proper regard for the uncertainty of detainees’ situations, particularly immigration issues and their cultural backgrounds.
  • Staff set a personal example in the way they carry out their duties.
  • Staff introduce themselves to new families and wear identification that clearly displays their name and status.
  • Information about detainees’ needs is communicated between staff sensitively.
  • Staff interact appropriately with children, with full regard to the wishes of their parents.

18. Families have confidence in complaints procedures, which are effective, timely and well understood.

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

  • Detainees know how to provide feedback or to complain and have access to information about complaints procedures in a range of formats and languages.
  • Detainees have easy access to feedback and complaint forms in a range of languages.
  • There are appropriate arrangements for children to make complaints.
  • Detainees can submit complaint forms confidentially at any time, including to the Home Office and/or the Independent Monitoring Board.
  • Responses to complaints are clear, respectful, prompt and address all the issues raised.
  • Determined efforts are made to communicate responses to detainees who have left the facility.
  • Responses are communicated in the language in which the complaint was submitted.

Human rights standards

Staff-detainee relationships
In relation to expectations 17 and 18 above: Human rights standards recognise that places of detention should be managed in accordance with the obligation to respect the humanity and inherent dignity of those detained, and require that staff and managers have the necessary aptitude and training to perform their roles. See SMR 74.1, 75, 76, 79.1; EPR 71–77, 81, 83, 87.1; UNHCR–DG 8[48(xvi)]; CPT 6.

Staff working with detainees with particular vulnerabilities should be given specialised training. See EPR 81. See additionally in relation to children, HR 82–87.

Human rights standards also require detainees to be able to make requests and complaints and to do so without reprisal or punishment. Requests and complaints must be responded to promptly. See SMR 56, 57; EPR 70; BOP 33; UNHCR–DG 8 [48(xv)]; CPT 8. See additionally in relation to assistance being provided to children to make complaints, HR 24, 25, 75–78.