23 April 2020 – Thailand

A group of civil society organisations issued an open letter on 15 April to the Department of Corrections urging the release of certain categories of prisoners and immigration detainees to address overcrowding. The letter requests that prisoners over the age of 60; sick prisoners; prisoners awaiting trial; prisoners sentenced to terms of up to two […]

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22 April 2020 – United States

ICE reported in mid-March that there were no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in its immigration detention centres. A month later, however, they reported 124 confirmed cases among detainees in 25 facilities, in addition to 30 positive cases among ICE employees. According to the Centre for Migration Studies (CMS) of New York, these ICE figures may […]

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Government Officials Wearing Protective Masks Stand Next to a Plane Carrying Migrants Deported from the US at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala, (12 March 2020, CNN,

22 April 2020 – Singapore

As of April 21, there were 9,125 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Singapore. Although Singapore has often been praised for its efforts to contain the virus, the positive effects of such containment have not reached all sectors of society equally. For instance, more than 50 percent of people who had contracted COVID-19 reportedly are work […]

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A Dormitory for Migrant Workers in Singapore in 2015, (Kirsten Han, The Interpreter,

22 April 2020 – United Kingdom

The UK’s Home Affairs Select Committee has called on the government to investigate concerns that cramped conditions in asylum accommodation are putting people at risk of the virus. In particular, the Committee noted its concerns regarding reports of poor conditions in an asylum centre in West Yorkshire that reportedly breached measures to control the spread […]

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21 April 2020 – Hong Kong (China)

Hong Kong (officially the Hong Kong Special Adminsitrative Region) began taking measures to contain and combat the COVID-19 pandemic in early February after thousands of medical workers undertook a week-long strike to demand the government close the border with China and provide workers with personal protective equipment, among others measures. From 25 March 2020, the […]

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Government Quarantine Camp at the Chun Yeung Estate, (K.Y. Cheng, South China Morning Post,

21 April 2020 – Canada

While Canada took measures early on to shrink populations in its dedicated immigration detention centres, people still remain in detention and there are questions about the extent to which immigration detainees confined in prisons have been provided additional safeguards. According to Solidarity Across Borders, as of 16 April the Laval Immigration Detention Center continued to […]

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21 April 2020 – Malawi

As of 19 April Malawi did not have any reported cases of Covid-19. The country has also not taken any measures to lockdown businesses as the country’s High Court blocked such measures in a ruling on 19 April. However, there are growing concerns among civil society organisations about the impact the virus could have in […]

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Victor Mhango from the Centre for Human Rights Advice Assistance and Education addressing Prisoners at Chichiri Prison, (Nyasa Times, “CSOs Call for Decongestion in Malawi Prisons as Response to Covid-19,” 18 March 2020, https://www.nyasatimes.com/csos-call-for-decongestion-in-malawi-prisons-as-response-to-covid-19/)

20 April 2020 – Guatemala

On 19 April 2020, Guatemalan President, Alejandro Giammattei, stated that a total of 50 migrants deported by the United States to Guatemala have tested positive for Covid-19. Human Rights advocates had been warning for weeks that deportation flights from the United States, the country with the largest known number of Covid-19 cases, could spread the […]

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Health Workers Bringing in Supplies Deliveries by Family Members to a Temporary Shelter for Guatemalan Citizens Deported from the United States, (17 April 2020, CNN,

20 April 2020 – Ireland

A hotel that was converted to a “direct provision” asylum reception site in the town of Cahersiveen has been placed under lockdown after several residents tested positive for Covid-19. More than one hundred asylum seekers were transferred four weeks ago to the hotel to await the outcomes of their asylum procedures. All the residents have […]

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19 April 2020 – Bahrain

Although little information regarding the country’s immigration detention system is available, data collected by the GDP over the past years shows that the country has used at least five facilities to hold immigration detainees, including prisons and detention centres (see the GDP’s Bahrain immigration detention profile). In 2017, the country had around 820,000 international migrants, […]

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Jau Central Prison in Bahrain, (https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/middle-east/bahrain/detention-centres/1889/jau-prison-jaw-prison,-central-prison)