Immigration Detention in Colombia: 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 from across the Americas and elsewhere in the world. It is also a key destination for Venezuelans fleeing the turmoil in their country, hosting more than 1.3 million by 2019. During 2010-2014, a national […]

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Immigration Detention in Paraguay: The Non-Detention Norm Versus Mandatory COVID Quarantine

While Paraguay’s laws provide for the detention of non-nationals for migration-related reasons, detention appears to be rarely applied. There is little information, however, about how often people are detained or the conditions of their detention. […]

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Azerbaijan: Armed Conflict, Pandemic, and Immigration Detention

Azerbaijan lauds the operations at its immigration detention centres, which opened less than a decade ago. But with civil society tightly controlled, there are few independent reports detailing detention conditions. Important monitoring bodies like the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture have also yet to fully investigate this issue. […]

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Immigration Detention in Germany: From Open Arms to Public Backlash

During the height of Europe’s migration “crisis,” Germany was one of the few EU countries to openly embrace assisting refugees, registering more than a million arrivals in less than two years. However, this stance spurred a public backlash, which led to the adoption of a host of restrictive measures, including policies intended to increase removals, limit family reunifications, and expand the range of facilities that can be used to detain migrants. […]

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Immigration Detention in Jordan: Detained by Employers, Locked Inside Refugee Camps, Pushed Back into Conflict Zones

Jordan has long played an important role in hosting refugees from neighbouring Arab states and has the second-largest share of refugees per capita worldwide. Although the country has at times been praised for its reception practices, arrests, forced deportations—including into the Syrian conflict zone—and poor conditions of detention remain critical concerns. […]

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Immigration Detention in Algeria: Pandemic Pushbacks

Reports from international organisations and other observers indicate that Algeria has, during the past decade, 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—including women and children—have been forcibly deported in desert areas bordering Mali and Niger. […]

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Immigration Detention in Hungary: Transit Zone or Twilight Zone?

Hungary’s efforts to block asylum seekers were at the centre of an important May 2020 European Union Court of Justice ruling concerning its “transit zone” detention sites, located along the border with Serbia. For years, Hungary refused to acknowledge that people were “detained” in these facilities, going so far as to refuse the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention entry during its visit to the country in 2018. […]

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Immigration Detention in Spain: A Rapid Response to Covid-19

On 6 May 2020, Spain reported that for the first time in its history, its long-term immigration detention facilities, “Foreign Internment Centres,” were empty. These centres had long been the target of activists, local politicians, and human rights bodies, who argued that they were unnecessary and abusive. The Covid-19 crisis, which shut down deportation flights, provided a final push. But enormous questions remain. […]

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Immigration Detention in Argentina: A Paradigm Shift?

Argentina, like its South American neighbours, has long de-emphasised detention and deportation in its immigration policies. However, in 2015 its posture changed dramatically after a conservative government took office, which pushed through several restrictive policy reforms and announced the opening of the country’s first specialised immigration detention centre. A new administration that took office in […]

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