On 20 September, the GDP’s Türkiye-based partner – the International Refugee Rights Association (IRRA) – delivered a virtual presentation to the UN Committee on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW) during its 35th session. This oral submission, which followed a joint written submission to the committee from both the GDP and IRRA, sought to draw attention to our shared concerns regarding the country’s treatment of immigration detainees.
Amongst the issues highlighted during the oral presentation were the fact that many of Türkiye’s immigration detention facilities do not meet EU regulation standards including by denying outdoor space to detainees and access to legal assistance; the confinement of vulnerable groups who should be protected from detention, including unaccompanied children, families, and pregnant and nursing women; and the use of immigration detention procedures – albeit with differential treatment – for people who are accsued of being suspected Yabancı Terörist Savaşçı (YTS) (Foreign Terrorist Fighters).
IRRA’s recommendations included:
* “Ensure that all detainees, regardless of their immigration status, have full access to legal aid and representation, an interpreter, and information regarding their rights, legal processes, and remedies in a language they understand.
* Ensure that detained migrants have access to physical and mental health services, including sexual and reproductive health services, and psychological care.
* Children should not be detained, even with their parents. In cases where children are with their families the best interests norm requires that the family not be detained but rather receive appropriate reception and care.
* All migrants detained in Türkiye should enjoy equal rights and equal treatment, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
*The difference in treatment and access to rights between YTS cases and other immigration detainees is unjustifiable and against international and national legal standards.”
Some of these points are to be re-highlighted during the GDP’s intervention at the CMW during a subsequent event in Geneva comparing the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and the Migrant Workers Convention, scheduled for 27 September as part of the committee’s preparation for its General Comment No.6 concerning the GCM. In a separate submission to the committee concerning the GCM, the GDP highlighted important gaps in the compact with respect to the detention of children, the use of “alternatives to detention,” the criminalisation of migration, and adherence to the overall global human rights regime.
- International Refugee Rights Association, “Oral Submission: GDP Partner, IRRA, Provides Input on Issues Related to Immigration Detention in Türkiye at the UN Committee on Migrant Workers’ 35th Session,” Global Detention Project, 20 September 2019, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/oral-submission-gdp-partner-irra-provides-input-on-issues-related-to-immigration-detention-in-turkiye-at-the-un-committee-on-migrant-workers-35th-session
- Global Detention Project and International Refugee Rights Association, “TÜRKIYE: Joint Submission to the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families,” 29 August 2022, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/turkiye-joint-submission-to-the-committee-on-the-protection-of-the-rights-of-all-migrant-workers-and-members-of-their-families
- Global Detention Project, “Submission to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers: General Comment No.6 on the Convergence of the International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and the Global Compact for Migration,” 20 September 2022, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/submission-to-the-un-committee-on-migrant-workers-general-comment-no-6-on-the-convergence-of-the-international-convention-on-the-rights-of-migrant-workers-and-the-global-compact-for-migration
- Global Detention Project, “Trapped at the Crossroads between Europe and Asia: Immigration Detention in Turkey,” October 2021, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/europe/turkey
- Global Detention Project, Turkey Immigration Detention Data Profile Page, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-in-turkey-trapped-at-the-crossroad-between-asia-and-europe