No detention centre mapping data


Indonesia Immigration Detention

Described by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as “a key transit country for irregular migrant movements,” Indonesia has dozens of immigration detention facilities, many of which have been denounced for their terrible conditions. The growth of Indonesia’s detention capacities has been largely driven by the policies and practices of Australia, with assistance provided by the IOM.

Quick Facts


Detained asylum seekers (2013): 2,806
Persons expelled (2014): 10,831
International migrants (2015): 328,800
New asylum applications (2016): 3,310

Profile Updated: January 2016

Indonesia Immigration Detention Profile

Although Indonesia has one of the largest populations in the world—which is spread out over a massive archipelago of thousands of islands—it hosts fewer migrants and refugees than many other countries in Southeast Asia. Foreigners represent only 0.1 percent of its total population.[1] However, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) describes Indonesia as “a key transit country for irregular migrant movements.” In 2013, the country intercepted approximately 9,000 migrants.[2]

As of 2015, Indonesia had a detention estate comprised of 13 long-term immigration detention centres (rudenim or karantina in Indonesian)[3] and 20 temporary detention facilities[4] located in 12 of the 33 provinces of the archipelago, which had a combined capacity of roughly 3,000. Like transit countries in other regions of the world, the growth of Indonesia’s detention capacities has been largely driven by the policies and practices of nearby destination countries, namely those of Australia.[5]

In addition to controversial policies like the “Pacific Solutions” that aim to prevent and deter the arrival of asylum seekers by sea by using extra-territorial (offshore) processing centres, Australia has also signed agreements with Indonesia for increased interception and detention of asylum seekers who apparently seek to make to Australia. Australian NGOs have denounced this “Indonesian Solution,” arguing that their government in effect pays Jakarta “hundreds of millions of dollars to detain and warehouse asylum seekers.”[6]

According to academic research findings, from 2011 to 2013 Australia channeled more than $90 million through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for programmes in the region, “including the upgrade and refurbishment of existing detention facilities” in Indonesia. During the same period, Australia gave the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) some $12 million for protection activities in the region, including support for resettlement.[7]

Australia claims that it does not directly fund immigration detention in Indonesia and other countries. Rather, it earmarks funds under the opaque wording of “providing care and maintenance to intercepted irregular migrants in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor.”[8] As part of the Management and Care of Irregular Immigrants Project (MCIIP I) launched in 2007, the IOM assisted in the refurbishment of detention centres in Tanjug Pinang (capacity was increased from 100 to 400 people with a surge capacity of 600 people) and Jakarta.[9] Likewise, among the activities included in MCIIP II (2011-12) was “Quarantine Facility Renovation” in Batam, Balikpapan, and Semarang, as well as “Updating of the Standard Operations Procedures and Guidelines for Human Rights in Immigration Detention Centres.”[10]

Law Number 6 of 2011 “Concerning Immigration” provides that foreigners can be placed in immigration detention to prevent unauthorized entry, stay or exit and to effect removal.[11] There is virtually no limit to detention as Article 85 of the law allows detention for up to ten years without judicial review. There is also no legal framework regulating the detention of persons of concern to UNHCR. Nearly 6,000 refugees and asylum seekers were detained in Indonesia in 2014.[12]

Children can be detained under Indonesian immigration law and hundreds of children are detained every year, including unaccompanied children, who are often detained with unrelated adults.[13] The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has called on Indonesia to “Cease the administrative practice of detaining asylum-seeking and refugee children.”[14] UNHCR and numerous NGOs like Jesuit Refugee Services-Indonesia have pressured the country to end the detention of children and to ensure that alternatives to detention that meet international standards are adopted and implemented.[15]

Overcrowding in detention centres is a recurrent complaint. Conditions at facilities can also vary considerably across the archipelago. In some detention centres, migrants can freely move about while in others detainees remain locked up in cells. Human Rights Watch has described conditions as “appalling” and denounced the lack of basic sanitation and bedding. There have been numerous reports of guards physical violence abusing detainees, including unaccompanied migrant children.[16]

Despite numerous criticisms of Indonesia’s immigration detention practices as well as its role in encouraging detention in the country, the Australian government has argued that “standards of health, hygiene, human rights and security in Indonesian detention facilities are matters for the Indonesian Government.”[17]

 

[1] Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, United Nations, Website: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/, United Nations, 2015.

[3] Ophelia Field and Alice Edwards, “Alternatives to Detention of Asylum Seekers and Refugees,” UNHCR, Division of International Projection Services, POLAS/2006/03, April 2006, http://www.unhcr.org/5666a2ea9.pdf .

[4] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, “Beyond Detention 2014-2019 – National Action Plan Indonesia,” UNHCR, November 2015, http://www.unhcr.org/5666a2ea9.pdf.

[5] Amy Nethery and Rafferty-Brown, Brynna, Taylor, Savitri, "Exporting Detention: Australia-funded Immigration Detention in Indonesia," in Journal of Refugee Studies Vol. 26, No. 1, revised March 2012. http://jrs.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/1/88.abstract; International Organisation for Migration, “Immigration and Border Management,” Factsheet, IOM Indonesia, December 2014. http://www.iom.or.id/sites/default/files/Factsheet%20-%20IBM.pdf. See also, Flynn, Michael, ”How and Why Immigration Detention Crossed the Globe,”

Global Detention Project, Working Paper No. 8. April 2014. http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/publications/working-papers/diffusion.html  

[6] Refugee Action Coalition fact sheet. The Indonesian Solution. December 2009. http://www.refugeeaction.org.au/?page_id=51

[7] Amy Nethery, Brynna Rafferty-Brown, and Savitri Taylor, "At the discretion of management - Immigration detention in Indonesia," in Immigration Detention - The migration of a policy and its human impact, Nethery and Silverman (eds), 2015; Australian Immigration Department, “Answer to Question Taken on Notice, Additional Estimates Hearings,” 11 February 2013, (AE13/0279); Australian Immigration Department, “Answer to Question Taken on Notice, Budget Estimates Hearings,” 27-28 May 2013, BE13/0316.

[8] Australian Immigration Department, “Answer to Question Taken on Notice, Additional Estimates Hearings,” 11 February 2013, AE13/0279.

[9] Amy Nethery, Brynna Rafferty-Brown, and Savitri Taylor, "Exporting Detention: Australia-funded Immigration Detention in Indonesia," in Journal of Refugee Studies Vol. 26, No. 1, revised March 2012, http://jrs.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/1/88.abstract; International Organisation for Migration, “Immigration and Border Management,” Factsheet, IOM Indonesia, December 2014, http://www.iom.or.id/sites/default/files/Factsheet%20-%20IBM.pdf.  

[10] IOM Indonesia, “Management & Care of Intercepted Irregular Migrants Project – MCIIP 2,”  http://www.iom.or.id/what-we-do/immigration-and-border-management/mciip-2.

[11] Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 6 of 2011 Concerning Immigration, (Undang-Undang No. 6 tahun 2011 tentang Keimigrasiaan),  http://www.imigrasi.go.id/phocadownloadpap/Undang-Undang/uu%20nomor%206%20tahun%202011%20-%20%20english%20version.pdf.

[12] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, “Beyond Detention 2014-2019 – National Action Plan Indonesia,” UNHCR, November 2015, http://www.unhcr.org/5666a2ea9.pdf.

[13] Human Rights Watch, “Barely Surviving: Detention, Abuse, Neglect of Migrant Children in Indonesia,” HRW, 24 June 2013, https://www.hrw.org/report/2013/06/23/barely-surviving/detention-abuse-and-neglect-migrant-children-indonesia.

[14] Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Concluding observations on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Indonesia,” United Nations, CRC/C/IDN/CO/3-4, 10 July 2014, http://uhri.ohchr.org/document/index/4cbccb2b-753b-47f5-8f0e-ab50707146f9.

[15] JRS-Indonesia, Website: Detention, http://jrs.or.id/en/campaign/detention/.

[16] Human Rights Watch, “Barely Surviving: Detention, Abuse, Neglect of Migrant Children in Indonesia,” HRW, 24 June 2013, https://www.hrw.org/report/2013/06/23/barely-surviving/detention-abuse-and-neglect-migrant-children-indonesia.

[17] Amy Nethery, Brynna Rafferty-Brown, and Savitri Taylor, "At the discretion of management - Immigration detention in Indonesia" in Immigration Detention - The migration of a policy and its human impact,  Nethery and Silverman (eds), 2015.

 

Centres List

No detention centres data available

Statistics Expand all



2,806

Number of detained asylum seekers

2013

  • Number of detained asylum seekers
NumberObservation Date
2,8062013


13

Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres

2015

  • Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
132015
132014
142009


3,000

Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres

2014

  • Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
3,0002014
1,4452010


10,831

Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)

2014

  • Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
NumberObservation Date
10,8312014
2,0112013


210,682

Criminal prison population

2017

  • Criminal prison population
NumberObservation Date
210,6822017
161,6922014
154,0002013
117,8632010
128,8762007
87,1852004
59,4882001
48,8981998
41,3531996
40,9151992


0.6

Percentage of foreign prisoners

2016

  • Percentage of foreign prisoners
PercentageObservation Date
0.62016


81

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)

2017

  • Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
NumberObservation Date
812017
642014
622013
492010
552007
392004
272001
241998
201996
211992



255,461,700

Population

2015

  • Population
NumberObservation Date
255,461,7002015


328,800

International migrants

2015

  • International migrants
NumberObservation Date
328,8002015
295,4002013


7,819

Refugees

2016

  • Refugees
NumberObservation Date
7,8192016
5,9572015
4,2702014


0.02

Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants

2014

  • Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
NumberObservation Date
0.022014
0.012013
0.012012


3,310

Total number of new asylum applications

2016

  • Total number of new asylum applications
NumberObservation Date
3,3102016
5,6582014
8,5872013
7,2232012


82.8

Refugee recognition rate

2014

  • Refugee recognition rate
NumberObservation Date
82.82014
892013


0

Stateless persons

2016

  • Stateless persons
NumberObservation Date
02016
02014

Domestic Law Expand all

Legal tradition Show sources
NameObservation Date
Civil law
Muslim law
Customary law

Constitutional guarantees? Show sources
NameConstitution and ArticlesYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
NoThe Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia of 1945, as amended. 19451945
Core pieces of national legislation Show sources
NameYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 6 of 2011 Concerning Immigration20112011
Law No. 39 Year 1999 - Concerning Human Rights. Republic of Indonesia.1999
Additional legislation Show sources
NameYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
Law no 21, 2007 on the Eradication of the Criminal Act of Trafficking in Persons2007
Regulations, standards, guidelines Show sources
NameYear Published
Regulation from the Director General of Immigration Number F-1002.PR.02.10 Year 2006 concerning Procedures for the Detention of Foreigners 2015
Government Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia Number 31 of 2013 Concerning Implementing Regulation of Act Number 6 of 2011 Concerning Immigration2013
Regulation from the Minister of Law and Human Rights of the Republic Indonesia Number M.05.IL.02.01 Year 2006 about Immigration Detention House. 2006

Immigration-status-related grounds Show sources
NameObservation Date
Detention for unauthorised exit2015
Detention to prevent unauthorised entry at the border2015
Detention for unauthorised entry or stay2015
Detention to effect removal2015

Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations? Show sources
FinesIncarcerationObservation Date
YesYes2015
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration Show sources
Grounds for IncarcerationMaximum Number of Days of IncarcerationObservation Date
Unauthorized entry3652015
Unauthorized exit3652015

Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law. Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
36502015
Longest recorded instance of immigration detention. Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
36502014
Maximum length of time in custody prior to issuance of a detention order Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
302015

Provision of basic procedural standards Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Information to detaineesYesNo2014
Access to consular assistanceYes2014
Access to asylum proceduresYesYes2014
Complaints mechanism regarding detention conditionsYesNo2014
Access to free interpretation servicesNo2014
Compensation for unlawful detentionNoNo2014
Right to legal counselYesNo2013
Independent review of detentionNo2013
Right to appeal the lawfulness of detentionNoNo2013

Types of non-custodial measures Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
ReleaseYesinfrequently2014

Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice? Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Accompanied minorsProvidedYes2014
Unaccompanied minorsProvidedYes2014
Victims of traffickingProvidedYes2014
Stateless personsNot mentioned2014
RefugeesNot mentionedYes2014
Asylum seekersNot mentionedYes2014

International Law Expand all

International treaties Show sources
NameRatification Year
ICRMW, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families2012
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2011
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children2009
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime2009
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2006
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights2006
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination1999
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment1998
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child1990
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women1984
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations1982
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
  11/19
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted Show sources
NumberObservation Date
0/8
0/8
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation Year
Committee on the Rights of the Child"66. In the light of its general comment No. 6 (2005) on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin, the Committee urges the State party to bring its immigration and asylum legislation into full compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant international standards. It further urges the State party to take all necessary measures to adequately address the situation of asylum-seeking children, and in particular: (a) Ensure that the best interests of the child are always given primary consideration in all immigration and asylum processes and that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are provided with adequate guardianship and free legal representation; (b) Cease the administrative practice of detaining asylum-seeking and refugee children; (c) Stipulate strict behavioural rules for guards and officials at detention facilities and ensure that the facilities are regularly assessed by an independent monitoring body; (d) Ensure that, in all circumstances, children are separated from unrelated adults, have access to sufficient food, clean drinking water and sanitation, as well as health care, education and recreation."2014

Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission Show sources
NameYear in ForceObservation Date
EU20142014

Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council Show sources
NameYear of VisitObservation Date
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants20062015
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review Show sources
Recomendation IssuedYear IssuedObservation Date
No20082017
No20122017
No20172017

Institutions Expand all

Federal or centralized governing system Show sources
Federal or centralized governing systemObservation Date
Centralized system2015
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority Show sources
Centralized or decentralized immigration authorityObservation Date
Centralized immigration authority2014

Custodial authority Show sources
AgencyMinistryMinistry TypologyObservation Date
Immigration officersMinistry of Law and Human RightsJustice2014
Directorate General of ImmigrationMinistry of Law and Human RightsJustice2014
Directorate General of ImmigrationProvincial office of the Ministry for Law and Human Rights Justice2014
Directorate General of ImmigrationMinistry for Law and Human RightsJustice2014
Directorate General of CorrectionMinistry of Justice and Human RightsJustice2014
Directorate General of ImmigrationProvincial office of the Ministry for Law and Human Rights Justice2013
Directorate General of ImmigrationProvincial office of the Ministry for Law and Human Rights Justice2012
Bogor Immigration OfficeMinistry of Justice and Human RightsJustice2007
Directorate General of ImmigrationMinistry of Justice and Human RightsJustice2007
Directorate General of ImmigrationMinistry of Justice and Human RightsJustice2006
Directorate General of ImmigrationMinistry of Justice and Human RightsJustice2005
Directorate General of ImmigrationMinistry of Justice and Human RightsJustice2004
Directorate General of ImmigrationMinistry of Justice and Human RightsJustice2002
Detention Facility Management Show sources
Entity NameEntity TypeObservation Date
Directorate of Immigration. Ministry of Law and Human Rights.Governmental2014
Directorate General of Immigration, Provincial office of the Ministry for Law and Human Rights Governmental2014
Directorate General of Immigration, Provincial office of the Ministry for Law and Human RightsGovernmental2014
irectorate General of Immigration, Provincial office of the Ministry for Law and Human RightsGovernmental2014
Directorate General of Immigration, Ministry for Law and Human Rights Governmental2014
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. Directorate General of CorrectionGovernmental2014
Directorate General of Immigration, Provincial office of the Ministry for Law and Human RightsGovernmental2013
Directorate General of Immigration, Provincial office of the Ministry for Law and Human RightsGovernmental2012
International Organization for MigrationInternational or Regional Organization2007
International Organization for MigrationInternational or Regional Organization2007
Immigration division, Regional office of Ministry of Justice and Human RightsGovernmental2007
Immigration division, Regional office of Ministry of Justice and Human RightsGovernmental2004
International Organization for MigrationInternational or Regional Organization2002
International Organization for MigrationInternational or Regional Organization2002
Formally designated detention estate? Show sources
Formally designated immigration detention estate?Types of officially designated detention centresObservation Date
YesDedicated immigration detention facilities2014
Types of detention facilities used in practice Show sources
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)Immigration field office (Administrative)Transit centre (Administrative)Reception centre (Administrative)Offshore detention centre (Administrative)Hospital (Administrative)Border guard (Administrative)Police station (Criminal)National penitentiary (Criminal)Local prison (Criminal)Juvenile detention centre (Criminal)Informal camp (Ad hoc)Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)Surge facility (Ad hoc)Observation Date
YesYes2014

Authorized monitoring institutions Show sources
InstitutionInstitution TypeObservation Date
United Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesInternational or Regional Bodies (IRBs)2015
United Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesInternational or Regional Bodies (IRBs)2014
Jesuit Refugee ServiceNon-Governmental Organizations (NGO)2014
World Relief IndonesiaNon-Governmental Organizations (NGO)2014
National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)National Human Rights Institution (or Ombudsperson) (NHRI)2014
International Organisation for Migration International or Regional Bodies (IRBs)2013
Human Rights WatchNon-Governmental Organizations (NGO)2013
Is the national human rights institution (NHRI) recognized as independent? Show sources
Is the NHRI recognized as independent by the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions?Observation Date
Yes2015
Does NHRI carry out visits? Show sources
Does NHRI carry out visits in practice?Observation Date
Yes2013
Yes2012
Yes2011
Does NHRI publicly release reports on immigration detention? Show sources
Does NHRI publicly release reports on immigration detention?Observation Date
Yes2012
Do NGOs carry out visits? Show sources
Do NGOs regularly carry our visits?Observation Date
Yes2014
Do NGOs publish reports on immigration detention? Show sources
Do NGOs publish reports on immigration detention?Observation Date
Yes2013
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRBs) visit immigration-related detention facilities? Show sources
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRB) regularly visit immigration-related detention facilities?Observation Date
Yes2014

Estimated annual budget for detention operations Show sources
Estimated total annual budget for detention operations (in USD)Building and maintenanceSecurityStaffingFoodMedicalTransportObservation Date
2,817,168YesYesYes2013

Does the country receive external sources of funding? Show sources
Benefitted from non-state funding sources?Observation Date
Yes2013
Yes2012
Yes2011
Description of foreign assistance Show sources
Description of non-state assistanceObservation Date
"In 2011-12 and 2012-13 Australia paid 47.9 million [...] and 46 million [...] , respectively, to the IOM. Payments to the IOM are for various activities, including the upgrade and refurbishment of existing detention facilities [in Indonesia]". Nethery, Amy, Ratterty-Brown, Brynna and Taylor, Savitri. "At the discretion of management - Immigration detention in Indonesia" in Immigration Detention - The migration of a policy and its human impact. Nethery, Amy and Silverman Stephanie (eds). 2015. 2015

Socio Economic Data Expand all

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD) Show sources
Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)Observation Date
3,4912014
3,4752013
Remittances to the country Show sources
Remittances to the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
8,5512014
6,9242011
Remittances from the country Show sources
Remittances from the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
2,8402010
Unemployment Rate Show sources
Unemployment RateObservation Date
6.22014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD) Show sources
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in USD)Observation Date
67,810,0002012
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP) Show sources
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)UNDP four-tiered rankingObservation Date
110Medium2015
108Medium2014

Detention for deterrence Show sources
Detention for deterrenceObservation Date
"UNHCR is concerned that detention continues to be used in a routine manner. This policy is mostly applied to persons intercepted attempting to enter or leave the country in an irregular manner. The continued use of detention as a deterrent to irregular movement and by consequence, to deter the movement of asylum-seekers and refugees, raises concern over the well-being of refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries, especially those with particular vulnerabilities including children and women. " UNHCR
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration Show sources
% who agree with the statement “We should restrict and control entry of people into our country more than we do now.”Observation Date
892007

Additional Resources


Submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR): Indonesia

INDONESIA Global Detention Project Submission to the Universal Periodic Review 27th session of the UPR Working Group, April-May 2017 Submitted on 22 September 2016   Submitting organisation The Global Detention Project (GDP) was founded in 2005 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. In 2014, it was launched as an independent non-profit […]

Engaging Governments on Alternatives to Immigration Detention

A leading organizer of the global effort to promote alternatives to immigration detention explores advocacy strategies for spurring detention reforms and the rationale behind the alternatives campaign.

Submission to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers: Indonesia

  Global Detention Project Submission to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) 24 Session (11-22 April 2016) List of issues prior to reporting – Indonesia Geneva, March 2016   Issues concerning immigration detention   The Global Detention Project (GDP) welcomes the opportunity to provide information relevant to the list of issues prior to the presentation […]

Immigration Detention in Indonesia

Described by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as “a key transit country for irregular migrant movements,” Indonesia has dozens of immigration detention facilities, many of which have been denounced for their terrible conditions. The growth of Indonesia’s detention capacities has been largely driven by the policies and practices of Australia, with assistance provided by […]

There and Back Again: On the Diffusion of Immigration Detention

From Mexico to the Bahamas, Mauritania to Lebanon, Turkey to Saudi Arabia, South Africa to Indonesia, Malaysia to Thailand, immigration-related detention has become an established policy apparatus that counts on dedicated facilities and burgeoning institutional bureaucracies. Until relatively recently, however, detention appears to have been largely an ad hoc tool, employed mainly by wealthy states in exigent circumstances. This paper uses concepts from diffusion theory to detail the history of key policy events in several important immigration destination countries that led to the spreading of detention practices during the last 30 years and assesses some of the motives that appear to have encouraged this phenomenon.

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