Immigration Detention through the Lens of International Human Rights: Lessons from South America

Why hasn’t South America witnessed the same growth in immigration detention regimes that has occurred in the rest of the world? This Global Detention Project Working Paper discusses developments across the region through the lens of international human rights standards. […]

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Immigration Detention, the Right to Liberty, and Constitutional Law: Global Detention Project Working Paper No. 22

The right to personal liberty is one of the oldest recognized rights in liberal democracies, which raises fundamental constitutional questions about the use of detention as an immigration measure. However, as this GDP Working Paper highlights, in common law countries, lengthy immigration detention on a large scale has become the norm and is largely regarded as constitutional. […]

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When Is Immigration Detention Lawful? The Monitoring Practices of UN Human Rights Mechanisms: Global Detention Project Working Paper No. 21

The authors describe the normative framework governing immigration detention established in core international treaties and discuss how human rights bodies apply this framework when reviewing states’ policies and practices. Their assessment of the impact and implementation of fundamental norms reveals gaps in the international protection regime and highlights how states’ responses to this regime have shaped contemporary immigration detention systems. […]

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Obstacles to Reforming Family Detention in the United States: Global Detention Project Working Paper No. 20

The prospect of ending the detention of immigrant families in the US appears more remote than ever as the new president begins implementing his restrictive immigration agenda. This paper, authored by the former director of ICE’s Office of Detention Policy and Planning, provides an inside look at the failure of the Obama administration to roll back family detention and urges renewed calls for reforms in the face of President Trump’s promised crackdown. […]

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Challenges to Providing Mental Health Care in Immigration Detention: Global Detention Project Working Paper No. 19

The global expansion of immigration detention creates an imperative for the mental health community to develop specialized models of care. The authors employ lessons learned from their experiences in Australia to provide a framework for understanding the corrosive nature of immigration detention and suggest clinical approaches that may be adapted to assist detainees in developing resilience to such settings.
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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 […]

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Detention, Deportation, and Waiting: Toward a Theory of Migrant Detainability: GDP Working Paper No. 18

The global expansion of deportation regimes has spurred an analogous expansion of migrant detention. This GDP Working Paper situates the analysis of immigration detention in the framework of contemporary critical theory, interrogating the economy of different conditionalities that undergird the distinct categories of migrants who are subjected to detention power. […]

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Is Infiltrating Migrant Prisons the Most Effective Way to Challenge Detention Regimes? The Case of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance: GDP Working Paper No. 17

The authors highlight efforts by undocumented youth in the United States to “infiltrate” immigration detention centres to argue that civil disobedience, a strategy often ignored by allies and advocates of immigrants, can be an effective tool to counter growing detention and deportation systems. […]

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