Quick Facts

Number of Immigration Detention Sites: 6 (2007)

Detention Capacity 1,287 (2007)

Number of Asylum Seekers: 2,186 (end 2007)



Last updated: January 2009

Czech Republic Detention Profile


The detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants was formally introduced in the Czech Republic in 1992 with the Act on the Residence of Foreigners, which permitted the detention of anyone issued an administrative removal order. In 1999, additional legal changes were made that increased the maximum period of detention from 30 to 180 days. In 2003, the government adopted guidelines that defined unauthorized immigration as a security threat and made its elimination a priority of the country’s immigration policy (Counselling Centre for Refugees 2007).


Before joining the European Union’s Schengen zone in January 2008, the Czech Republic made several changes to its legislation to bring it in line with EU standards on the administration and processing of irregular migrants and asylum seekers. These changes sanctioned the detention of asylum seekers and unidentified immigrants until their deportation (Counselling Centre for Refugees 2007).


Official and non-governmental sources report a number of positive developments in recent years, including improvements in living conditions at detention centres, better processing procedures, and improved access to legal assistance. These improvements have largely been attributed to the transfer of operations of all administrative detention centres from the Police to the Administration of Refugee Facilities of the Ministry of the Interior, which took place on 1 January 2006 (European Commission 2006; Counselling Centre for Refugees 2007; Ministry of the Interior 2007).


As of April 2007, there were four immigration detention centres and two secure registration centres in the Czech Republic (Ministry of the Interior 2007; Counselling Centre for Refugees 2007). Although the facilities are under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior, management is shared by three state agencies: the Administration of Refugee Facilities; the Police, which maintains security outside and around the centres and conduct entry searches of newly detained immigrants; and the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy, which administers the processing of detained asylum seekers. A private security company maintains security within the centres (Counselling Centre for Refugees 2007). In addition to these six centres, the Blue School Diagnostic Institute for alien minors (Modra Skola) was established in 2004 to house irregular minors under the age of fifteen, where they can stay for 2-3 months while awaiting appointment of a legal guardian (European Parliament 2007; European Commission 2007).



List of Detention Sites

Map of Detention Sites

Legal Framework
History and Politics
Detention Infrastructure
Detention Facts and Figures

Children, Women and other Vulnerable Groups
Controversies and Criticism

Reference List

Discussion of Sources