Special Reports

Global Detention Project Annual Report 2016

The Global Detention Project completed its second full year as an independent association in 2016. This annual report details the GDP’s key accomplishments and developments during the year.

Briefing on Multi-national Companies that Provide Immigration Detention Services

The UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries plans to include an assessment of human rights challenges posed by the operations of private security companies in detention centres and prisons in its 2017 report to the UN General Assembly. To assist in the Working Group’s preparatory work, the GDP provided a briefing on various […]

Detention of Migrant Children in Switzerland: A Status Report

How many children are placed in immigration detention in Switzerland? Where are they detained? What are the conditions of their detention? Is this information even available? In this Special Report, the child rights NGO Terre des hommes, working in collaboration with the Global Detention Project, details important gaps in Switzerland treatment of children in immigration detention.  

GDP Annual Report 2014-2015

In December 2015, the Global Detention Project completed its first fiscal year as an independent association after operating for nearly eight years at the Graduate Institute. This Annual Report details the origins and evolution of the GDP and its efforts to confront the growing use of immigration detention.

THE UNCOUNTED: The Detention of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Europe

Based on a two-year investigation seeking basic details and statistics about immigration detention practices in 33 countries across Europe and North America, this joint report by the GDP and Access Info Europe reveals that in many countries it is impossible to obtain an accurate picture of the number of migrants and asylum seekers being held […]

Immigration Detention in the Gulf

Labour migrants are a backbone of the economies of all the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council–Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. While much has been reported on the abuses these workers often suffer, very little is known about what happens to them when they are arrested and detained. […]

Children in Immigration Detention: Challenges of Measurement and Definition

The campaign to end the detention of children, including child migrants and asylum seekers, has generated impressive global momentum. However, there remain important gaps in this effort, including the absence of an adequate definition of the immigration detention of children and inherent problems in developing realistic statistics to measure state activities. The objective of this […]

The Detention of Asylum Seekers in the Mediterranean Region

With the recent tragic surge in the number of deaths at sea of asylum seekers and other migrants attempting to reach Europe, enormous public attention is being focused on the treatment of these people across the Mediterranean. An important migration policy employed throughout the region is detention, including widespread deprivation of liberty of asylum seekers […]

A Survey of Private Contractor Involvement in U.S. Facilities Used to Confine People for Immigration-related Reasons

The private prison industry in the United States has grown significantly during the last several decades and along with it there has been an apparent increase in the outsourcing of services at facilities used for immigration detention purposes. However, while much has been written about private ownership and management of detention facilities, the phenomenon of […]

Immigration Detention in Canada

The Canadian Parliament is currently considering controversial “anti-smuggling” legislation which, if adopted, will “put a lot of emphasis on putting people behind bars before they get due process,” in the words of one member of Parliament. The legislation is part of a larger public debate in Canada regarding its social attitudes and legal responses to […]

Immigration Detention in Switzerland

This Global Detention Project Special Report provides a first-of-its-kind view of the Swiss immigration detention system. When compared to detention facilities elsewhere in Europe, some Swiss detention sites—like its Frambois facility, located just outside Geneva—have decidedly good reputations for their humane conditions. On the other hand, many Swiss detention practices and policies have been heavily […]

An Introduction to Data Construction on Immigration-related Detention

The aim of this paper is to introduce activists and scholars to efforts by the Global Detention Project to construct rigorous data on the facilities used to detain irregular migrants and asylum seekers in detention as they await deportation or to have their claims assessed. The paper proposes a set of conceptual tools that can be used to study […]

Detention at the Borders of Europe: Report on the Joint Global Detention Project– International Detention Coalition Workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, 2‐3 October 2010

On 2-3 October 2010, the Global Detention Project (GDP) held a workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, on migration-related detention that included representatives from organizations in 12 countries in Europe and neighbouring regions, as well as several international migration scholars and advocates. The workshop, which was jointly organized with the International Detention Coalition (IDC), an umbrella group […]