The persecution of ethnic and social minorities during the Second World War led to the
creation of customary international human rights law. These laws serve to protect the
fundamental rights and civil liberties of all individuals; even when a person is brought
before a criminal court their right to justice will be protected. Through its immigration
policies, the UK government aims to create a ‘hostile environment’. The detention of
migrants has become the norm, and immigrants have been criminalized through the
introduction of criminal offences including entering the UK on false or no documents.
The increase in foreign nationals convicted of such criminal offences is portrayed as evidence
that criminal migrants are a danger to public safety. Laws have been changed and
the role of the courts to protect the rights of children to a family life eroded to further
the hostile environment.