Through section 60 of the Immigration Act 2016, which came into force on 12 July 2016, we have placed a 72 hour limit on the detention of pregnant women for the purposes of removal, extendable to up to a week in total with Ministerial authorisation.
It may not always be appropriate for healthcare professionals to disclose confidential medical information that the patient has asked not to be disclosed. Subject to these limitations, Home Office management information indicates that fewer than 55 pregnant women were detained in the immigration detention estate in 2017. These statistics have been taken from a live operational database. As such, numbers may change as information on that system is updated.
The section 60 limitations, along with a new policy on adults at risk in detention, and other improvements to case working processes, represent a comprehensive package of safeguards for pregnant women in the immigration system.
Home Officials will work with any individual at any time, including those whom we detain, to assist with their return, if they decide to leave the UK voluntarily.