Pregnant women will no longer be detained for more than three days, the Government has announced.
Any moves to imprison pregnant women for longer will need Ministerial approval.
This is a welcome step forward which will end the routine detention of women, which the Refugee Council has long called for.
The announcement comes following pressure for the Government to change the law through the new Immigration Bill, currently passing through Parliament, to implement an outright ban on the detention of pregnant women.
Refugee Council Advocacy Manager Anna Musgrave: “It’s disappointing that the Government has chosen to defy the Lords, defy public opinion and defy common sense by choosing to continue imprisoning pregnant women.
“Pregnant women with insecure immigration status are far more likely to die during childbirth or lose their babies than British women. Women who already have such high risk pregnancies shouldn’t be detained under any circumstances: there’s absolutely no excuse for compromising the health and well being of a mother and her baby.”