From Open Arms to Public Backlash

Despite being one of the only EU countries to openly embrace assisting refugees during the 2015 "crisis," Germany has since adopted a host of restrictive measures, including policies intended to increase removals, and an expansion of the range of facilities used to detain non-nationals.

Full Country Profile

2,777

Immigration detainees

2018

15

Detained children

2013

11

Long-term centres

2019

165,857

New asylum applications

2019

1,146,682

Refugees

2019

COVID-19 Global Immigration Detention Platform

As Covid-19 spreads through communities across the globe, fundamentally re-shaping how societies operate, there are pressing concerns about the impact the pandemic is having on migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. These concerns have particular urgency in the context of border controls, detention measures, and deportation procedures.

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Pandemic Pushbacks

During the past decade, Algeria has employed increasingly punitive methods to limit the entry and stay of refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented migrants. Sometimes under threat of violence, tens of thousands of people have been forcibly deported in desert areas bordering Mali and Niger.

Full Country Profile

No Data

Immigration detainees

No Data

Detained children

2,725

New asylum applications

2019

98,599

Refugees

2019

249,075

International migrants

2019

Detained by Employers, Locked Inside Refugee Camps, Pushed Back Into Conflict Zones

Although Jordan has at times been praised for its reception practices, arrests, forced deportations—including into the Syrian conflict zone—and poor detention conditions remain critical concerns.  Migrant workers, meanwhile, face enormous barriers to securing basic rights and are particularly vulnerable to arbitrary arrest and detention—including at the hands of their employers.

Full Country Profile

2,541

Immigration detainees

2014

No Data

Detained children

1,189

New asylum applications

2019

693,668

Refugees

2019

3,346,703

International migrants

2019

Using data and analysis to promote the human rights of immigration detainees

Every day, thousands of people are detained for reasons related to their immigration status: asylum seekers, migrants, refugees, and stateless persons. The GDP relentlessly pursues information about where they are locked up and how they are treated to ensure that their human rights are protected.

Featured Publications

Special Reports & Working Papers

UK: Plans to Replicate Australia’s Maligned Offshore Detention Regime Ignore a Long History of Failure and Suffering

Earlier this month, leaks revealed that the UK government has considered plans to send asylum seekers to offshore “processing” facilities stretching from Europe to North Africa to Asia, including in Moldova, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, and even Ascension Island and St Helena. According to the Guardian, which obtained the documents, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and […]

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External Staff Publications

Immigration Detention in the European Union

This book offers a unique comparative assessment of the evolution of immigration detention systems in European Union member states since the onset of the “refugee crisis.” By applying an analytical framework premised on international human rights law in assessing domestic detention regimes, the book reveals the extent to which EU legislation has led to the adoption of laws and practices that may disregard fundamental rights and standards. […]

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Press Releases

COVID-19 – Respecting the Rights of Migrants and Refugees

As the coronavirus pandemic changes the lives of societies around the world, so too must it spur consideration for how countries are choosing to treat people in their custody for immigration- or asylum-related reasons. This need is all the more pressing given how leaders in many countries have begun capitalising on the disease’s spread to fuel […]

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Special Reports & Working Papers

Physical Fences and Digital Divides: Final Report of the Global Detention Project Special Investigation into the Uses of Electronic Media in Today’s Migration Journeys

The “refugee crisis” helped spur a “tech turn” in how people travel across borders and how governments and others respond to these movements. Everyone from civil society organisations—including the Global Detention Project—and individual activists to humanitarian technologists, government officials, and international bureaucrats have experimented with social media and other new forms of digital technology to […]

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Crossing a Red Line
External Staff Publications

Crossing a Red Line

“Crossing a Red Line” is the final report of the Red Line Project, a collaborative initiative led by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee that was aimed at documenting the shift from “reception” to “detention” in EU border regions and the implications of this shift on asylum seekers. The project also counted on the participation of the Global Detention Project, the Bulgarian Foundation for Access to Rights, the Greek Council for Refugees, and the Italian Council for Refugees. […]

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