Progressive Reforms and Missed Opportunities

In recent years, Canada has adopted both progressive refugee policies and restrictive border control measures, including agreeing to accept more refugees than other countries while at the same time adopting policies that restrict asylum eligibility.

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8,825

Immigration detainees

2020

138

Detained children

2020

23,900

New asylum applications

2020

101,757

Refugees

2019

7,960,657

International migrants

2019

Between the United States and Central America

Mexico has one of the largest immigration detention systems in the world, employing several dozen detention centres—euphemistically called "estaciones migratorias"—and detaining tens of thousands of people every year.

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59,155

Immigration detainees

2020

53,507

Detained children

2019

70,366

New asylum applications

2019

28,517

Refugees

2019

1,060,707

International migrants

2019

At the Crossroads of the Americas

Located at the juncture between South and Central America, Colombia has become an important transit point for migrants and asylum seekers. The country opened its first detention facilities in 2013, as part of a national plan to "strengthen immigration control."

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2,911

Immigration detainees

2018

Not Available

Detained children

2017

10,621

New asylum applications

2019

634

Refugees

2019

1,142,319

International migrants

2019

The Non-Detention Norm Versus Mandatory COVID Quarantine

Paraguay has not emphasised detention in its immigration policies nor has it established a formal immigration detention system. While the law provides for the detention of non-nationals for migration-related reasons—to ensure expulsion—it appears to be rarely applied.

Full Country Profile

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained asylum seekers

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2019

Not Available

Long-term centres

2019

1,071

New asylum applications

2019

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

Every day, tens of thousands of men, women, and children are detained across the globe for reasons related to their immigration status: asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, refugees, trafficking victims, torture survivors, stateless persons, and others. The GDP relentlessly pursues information about where they are locked up and how they are treated to ensure that their human rights are respected.

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Featured Publications

News & Activities

JOB VACANCY: Advocacy and Communications Consultant

The Global Detention Project is seeking an experienced Geneva-based advocacy and communications professional to assist the organisation in meeting publishing and outreach targets. The ideal candidate will have at least 5-10 years of experience working in the international human rights system, expertise in working with a team to create effective media products, and knowledge of migrant and refugee rights. […]

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Annual Reports

Global Detention Project Annual Report 2020

As we look back at 2020, the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on the lives of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and other vulnerable non-citizens across the globe appears to overshadow all else. But this Annual Report reveals that even as we sought to steady the GDP ship through this storm, we managed to make important advancements in our core objectives and outputs. […]

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Submissions & Recommendations

Joint Submission to the Universal Periodic Review: Papua New Guinea

This submission has been prepared by the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) and the Global Detention Project (GDP) for the third cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in November 2021. In preparing this submission, APRRN has drawn on the expertise of two of its members: Refugee Council of Australia and Caritas PNG (which works directly with refugees in PNG through the support of Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and the Solomon Islands). […]

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Submissions & Recommendations

Joint Submission to the Universal Periodic Review: Hungary

Since the closure of its transit zones in 2020, Hungary has implemented a new, highly restrictive asylum procedure requiring all applicants to lodge their requests at consulates in Serbia or Ukraine. In a submission to the UPR, the GDP and Hungarian Helsinki Committee draw attention to this issue, along with other concerns related to migration detention and border enforcement measures. […]

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Special Reports & Working Papers

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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