Still Waiting for Reforms as Europe Increases Pressure to Block Migrants and Asylum Seekers

Morocco has long prided itself for defending the rights of non-nationals. However, this reputation has repeatedly been tarnished as criticism has grown over its treatment of asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants. In particular, increasing pressure from Europe to block the movement of migrants and asylum seekers is encouraging the use of enforcement tactics that violate migrants’ fundamental human rights.

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Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

No Data

Detained children

5,621

New asylum applications

2019

6,642

Refugees

2019

98,574

International migrants

2019

Stricter Control of Administrative Detention, Increasing Criminal Enforcement of Migration

South Africa has increasingly viewed cross border movements through the lens of national security and criminality. According to observers, the country's Border Management Act, adopted in 2020, reflects this embrace of a securitisation agenda.

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Not Available

Immigration detainees

2020

Not Available

Detained children

2017

3,074

New asylum applications

2020

78,395

Refugees

2020

2,860,495

International migrants

2020

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.

Full Country Profile

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

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

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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Submissions & Recommendations

Submission to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers: Draft General Comment No.5 on Migrants’ Right to Liberty and Freedom from Arbitrary Detention

In a submission to the Committee on Migrant Workers ahead of the publication of its Draft General Comment No.5, the GDP has submitted information regarding the General Comment’s treatment of the role of necessity and proportionality in immigration detention decision-making, and in particular the function of ATDs in establishing whether detention is both necessary and proportionate in all cases. […]

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