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. […]

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Bureaucratic Capitalism and the Immigration Detention Complex

This paper argues that post-structuralist approaches to the study of immigration detention present a number of theoretical and conceptual problems. Post-structuralist analyses focusing on discourses divorced from actors present teleological problems in terms of theory. Additionally, poststructural accounts of detention centres using concepts such as homo sacer and Banoptican tend to conflate human rights and citizenship rights, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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How and Why Immigration Detention Crossed the Globe

This paper details the history of key policy events in various countries that led to the global diffusion of detention practices during the last 30 years and assesses some of the motives that appear to have encouraged this phenomenon. In telling this story, this paper seeks to flesh out some of the larger policy implications […]

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International Law and Migration Detention: Coding State Adherence to Norms

Final Report of the Global Detention Project to the Swiss Network for International Studies This is the final report of the Global Detention Project’s three-year academic project assessing the relevance of intentional human rights norms to migration-related detention, which was funded by the Swiss Network for International Studies. The project, which was initially launched by […]

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Smoke Screens: Is There a Correlation between Migration Euphemisms and the Language of Detention?

Discursive strategies used to describe people moving across borders can have consequences on their well-being, including limiting their access to legal procedures. This Global Detention Project working paper points to an apparent paradox in these strategies: While language used to describe migrants and asylum-seekers is often euphemistic (or dysphemistic), tending to dehumanise them, language used […]

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The Hidden Costs of Human Rights: The Case of Immigration Detention

Many liberal democracies betray a noticeable discomfort when it comes to public scrutiny of immigration detention, neglecting to release comprehensive statistics about it, cloaking detention practices in misleading names and phrases, and carefully choosing which activities they define as deprivation of liberty. On the other hand, these same countries have laboured to expand their detention […]

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“Crimmigration” in the European Union through the Lens of Immigration Detention

The phenomenon of “crimmigration”—or the convergence of criminal and immigration laws—appears to have a harmful impact on migrants, ranging from increasing negative attitudes about non-citizens to more restrictive immigration policies. This Global Detention Project working paper argues that immigration detention regulated by European Union (EU) directives represents a peculiar manifestation of crimmigration. In particular, detention provisions […]

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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 […]

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