No detention centre mapping data


Germany Immigration Detention

Germany’s immigration detention system has undergone major changes since a 2014 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union condemning the country’s use of prisons for immigration purposes. Since then, the country’s detention infrastructure has shrunk from more than 20 to seven long-term facilities, even as new laws have broadened the grounds justifying immigration detention.

Quick Facts


Immigration detainees (2014): 1,850
Detained minors (2013): 15
Immigration detention capacity (2013): 1,557
Persons expelled (2016): 75,815
International migrants (2015): 12,005,000
New asylum applications (2016): 745,440

Profile Updated: October 2017

Germany Immigration Detention Profile

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Since 2012, Germany has received the largest number of asylum applications in the European Union (EU). In 2013, more than 126,000 people sought international protection in Germany, the highest number of applications among industrialised countries in the world that year. In 2014, more than 202,000 people submitted asylum applications; 476,500 in 2015; and 745,000 in 2016. In 2016, Germany received almost 60 percent of all asylum applications in the EU and almost six times more than Italy, which ranked second (with almost 123,000 applications).[1]

Despite the rising numbers of asylum seekers, Germany initially adopted a welcoming posture. In 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to open the country’s borders to more than 10,000 asylum seekers stranded in Hungary and declared that Syrian refugees were welcome to stay, independently from where they had first entered the EU.[2] More recently, however, the country has pursued more restrictive measures, including: increased rates of deportations to Afghanistan;[3] new limitations on family reunion;[4] the adoption of plans to set up shelters for returned children in Morocco;[5] and the resumption of returns to Greece under the Dublin Regulation.[6]

The numbers of people ordered to leave Germany have also increased since 2013. Approximately 25,000 non-citizens were issued a return decision in 2013; 34,000 in 2014; 54,000 in 2015; and 70,000 in 2016.[7] On the other hand, the numbers of immigration detainees have steadily dropped. In 2012, Germany placed 5,748 people in immigration detention; 4,812 in 2013; and 1,850 in 2014.[8]

Until 2014, Germany was one of the only European countries that used prisons to carry out immigration detention. As of 2013, of the country’s 16 federal states (Bundesländer), ten used prisons for confining migrants. In July 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that this practice was incompatible with the EU Returns Directive. In its ground breaking judgment in Bero & Bouzalmate, the court ruled that Germany could not rely on the fact that there are no dedicated detention facilities in a given federal state to justify keeping non-citizens in prison pending their removal. In Pham, the court found that the same rule applies even if the detainee has consented to being confined in a penitentiary.

Since these rulings, Germany has significantly overhauled its immigration detention system, in particular by ceasing to use prisons for immigration detention. As of 2016, the country operated seven facilities, all of which were dedicated immigration detention centres. Despite these reforms, recent laws have led to a more restrictive legal framework on detention, including a 2015 amendment to the Residence Act, which introduced grounds for detention during Dublin transfer procedures and “custody to secure departure,” to be carried out in the airport transit zones.

 

LAWS, POLICIES, PRACTICES

Key norms. Germany’s legal framework for immigration detention is provided in the 2008 Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory (Residence Act) (Gesetz über den Aufenthalt, die Erwerbstätigkeit und die Integration von Ausländern im Bundesgebiet (Aufenthaltsgesetz)) and the 2008 Asylum Act (Asylgesetz).

Some of the provisions of the Residence Act are detailed in the 2009 General administrative regulation to the Residence Act (Allgemeine Verwaltungsvorschrift zum Aufenthaltsgesetz). Procedural rules are provided in the 2008 Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Non-contentious Jurisdiction (Gesetz über das Verfahren in Familiensachen und in den Angelegenheiten der freiwilligen Gerichtsbarkeit).

Within Germany’s decentralised legal and administrative framework, the enforcement of immigration detention is under the remit of the federal states. Federal legal provisions are intended to provide only a general framework for immigration detention.[9] The Residence Act provides the grounds for detention, rules on the length of detention, and basic procedural safeguards. Yet, it contains few provisions dealing with conditions of detention. It is in the federal states’ capacity to adopt such laws, since they are in charge of implementation of detention order. Only four states—Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, and North Rhine-Westphalia—appear to have adopted specific laws regulating enforcement of immigration detention (see below “Regulation of detention conditions”).[10] In the remaining thirteen states the Prison Act (Strafvollzugsgesetz), complemented by non-binding federal states’ standards, regulates conditions and overall detention regimes. This situation has been criticised by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), which on numerous occasions has called upon the German authorities to ensure that in all federal states detention pending deportation is governed by specific rules reflecting the particular status of immigration detainees.[11]

The decentralised nature of the German legal and administrative system also makes it challenging to access comprehensive information on German immigration detention practices.[12]

Grounds for detention. The Residence Act and the Asylum Act provide several grounds for immigration detention.

At ports of entry, if a non-citizen is refused entry but the refusal cannot be enforced immediately, then the person is to be placed in “detention pending exit from the federal territory” (Zurückweisungshaft) (Residence Act, Section 15(5)). If a person has reached German territory by air and “detention pending exit from the federal territory” is not applied, the person is to be taken to an airport transit area or other place of accommodation from which exit from Germany is possible (Residence Act, Section 15(6)).

Besides border-related procedures, there are three main forms of immigration detention: “custody to prepare deportation” (Vorbereitungshaft), “custody to secure deportation” (Sicherungshaft), and “custody to secure departure” (Ausreisegewahrsam). 

Custody to prepare deportation. The Residence Act provides that a non-citizen is to be detained to enable the preparation of deportation (custody to prepare deportation) if a decision on deportation cannot be reached immediately and deportation would be much more difficult or impossible without such detention (Residence Act, Section 62(2)). The General Administrative Regulation to the Residence Act explains that “custody to prepare deportation” is only permissible if the adoption of an expulsion order is legally possible and highly probable, yet the expulsion cannot be decided immediately. Preparatory detention is particularly permitted where deportation is ordered within six weeks after the beginning of the detention and can be carried out during that six-month period (General administrative regulation to the Residence Act, Section 62.1.1).

Custody to secure deportation. A person can be placed in “custody to secure deportation” if: 1) he is required to leave the federal territory on account of his unlawful entry; 2) a deportation order based on state security or terrorist threat has been issued but is not immediately enforceable; 3) the period allowed for departure has expired and the non-citizen has changed his place of residence without notifying the foreigners’ authority of a new address; 4) the person has failed to appear at the location stipulated by the foreigners’ authority on a date fixed for deportation due to reasons for which he is responsible; 5) the person has evaded deportation by other means; or 6) there is a well-founded suspicion that the person intends to evade deportation (risk of absconding) (Residence Act, Section 62(3)). 

The criteria for establishing a risk of absconding include when a person 1) has in the past eluded authorities by changing place of residence without notifying the competent authority of an address at which he can be reached; 2) deceives authorities regarding identity, in particular by suppressing or destroying identity or travel documents or claiming a false identity; 3) has refused or failed to cooperate in the establishment of identity and the particular circumstances of the case clearly indicate the intention to evade deportation; 4) has paid a large sum of money to a third person to assist unlawful entry; 5) has declared the intention to evade deportation; or 6) has made other concrete preparations of comparable significance to evade imminent deportation and these preparations cannot be thwarted by using direct force (Residence Act, Section 2(14)). This provision does not list these criteria in an exhaustive manner.

Custody to secure departure. The 2015 amendment to the Residence Act introduced “custody to secure departure” (Ausreisegewahrsam). Section 62(b) provides that a foreigner may be placed in this form of detention if: (1) the period allowed for departure has expired (unless the foreigner was prevented from leaving or the period allowed for departure has been exceeded by an insignificant amount of time); and (2) the person has displayed behaviour indicating the intention to make deportation more difficult or impossible by continually violating statutory obligations to cooperate or by deceiving authorities regarding identity or nationality. The detention order must be waived if the person can demonstrate a willingness not to evade deportation. Custody to secure departure is not permissible if it has been established that the deportation cannot be implemented within the period stipulated in the detention order (Section 62b(1)). The custody to secure departure is to be enforced in the transit area of an airport or in accommodation from which the foreigner’s subsequent departure is possible (Section 62b(2)). According to Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, as of 2016, detention had not yet been ordered on this ground.[13] Initially, custody to secure departure had a maximum time-limit of four days but the most recent amendment which entered into force at the end of July 2017 extended it to ten days.[14]

Asylum seekers. Although German law does not provide specific grounds justifying detention of asylum seekers, they may still end up in immigration detention under the Asylum Procedure Act. In cases of entry by air, non-citizens coming from a safe country of origin or without identity documents who apply for asylum with the border authority may be kept in custody at airport premises during the asylum procedure for up to 19 days (Asylum Act, Section 18(a)).[15] In 1996, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the placement of foreigners at airport transit zone premises does not constitute detention because according to the court’s reasoning the people concerned have an option to leave by plane.[16] Other EU countries that regard detention in airport facilities as merely accommodation during border asylum procedures or measures preventing irregular entry in the territory include France and the Netherlands. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) noted in 2015 that the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in Amuur v. France, which concluded that accommodation in transit zones can amount to detention, had not led to any changes in German jurisprudence.[17]

In 2012-2013, according to Pro Asyl and Diakonie Hessen, the majority of detained asylum seekers in Germany were subject to a transfer based on the EU Dublin Regulation. At that time, in some detention centres, such as Rendsburg or Eisenhüttenstadt, the “Dublin detainees” made up to 90 percent of the detainee population.[18] In June 2014, the German Federal High Court ruled that detention during Dublin proceedings did not have a legal basis in the German domestic law. Unlike its forerunner, the Dublin III Regulation provides that the person concerned may be detained if there is a “significant risk of absconding” and that such a risk is based on objective criteria to be defined in the domestic legislation. As of September 2014, Germany had not yet defined in law such objective criteria for determining the risk of absconding. Thus, few persons were placed in Dublin-related detention as of 2014.[19]

The 2015 amendment to the Residence Act provides a legal basis for detention of persons under the Dublin procedures. According to article 2(15), the criteria listed in above-mentioned article 2(14) for risk of absconding in return procedures should also apply in Dublin transfer procedures. This provision sets out an additional criterion, notably where the foreigner has left another member state prior to the conclusion of Dublin or asylum proceedings and the circumstances of the determination made in the federal territory provide concrete indications that the person will not return to that state in the foreseeable future.

Additionally, if a foreign national applies for asylum while already in immigration detention by virtue of the Residence Act, the asylum application must not hinder the ordering or continuation of detention (Asylum Act, Section 14(3)). 

In 2011, the UN Committee against Torture issued a number of recommendations to Germany with respect to its treatment of asylum seekers. It recommended limiting the number of detained asylum seekers (including those who are subject to Dublin regulations); limiting the duration of their detention pending return; ensuring mandatory medical checks and systematic examination of mental illnesses or traumatisation; providing medical and psychological examinations by specially trained independent health experts when the signs of torture or traumatisation are detected; and providing adequate accommodation for detained asylum seekers separate from remand prisoners in all detention facilities.[20]

Minors and families. The detention of minors, including unaccompanied minors, is not prohibited under German law. The Residence Act merely provides that minors and families with minors may be placed in pre-removal detention only in exceptional cases and only for as long as is reasonable, taking into account the well-being of the child (Residence Act, Section 62(1)).

There are considerable differences between states in terms of both regulation and practice of detention of minors. In some states there are no age-limits on detention, while in others there are regulations setting the minimum age of detention at 16, like in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, even in states with age limits, minors can still be accommodated in special youth facilities, like in Brandenburg. In Schleswig-Holstein unaccompanied minors under 16 are not detained but 10-years old children may be detained as long as they are with their mothers.[21]

According to the government, minors are detained “extremely rarely” in practice.[22] Non-governmental sources concur that the numbers of detained children have dropped since 2011. Fifteen minors were placed in immigration detention 2013; 55 in 2012; 61 in 2011, 114 in 2010, and 142 in 2009.[23] According to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, based on information provided by the federal government, there were no children detained on 31 December 2015, 31 March 2016, 1 September 2016, 15 November 2016, and 1 December 2016.[24] This information should be read with caution because in cases federal states have been unable to provide adequate statistics (for more information on this issue, see the section “Trends and statistics” below).

Regarding the conditions of detention for detained minors, the Residence Act (Section 62(a)(3)) provides that age-dependent needs should be taken into account in line with article 17 of the EU Returns Directive. According to this provision, children in detention should have the possibility to engage in leisure activities, including play and recreational activities appropriate to their age, and should have, depending on the length of their stay access to education. In addition, unaccompanied minors should as far as possible be provided with accommodation in institutions provided with personnel and facilities which take into account the needs of persons of their age.

In 2014, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern over the possibility of imposing pre-removal detention on children that can last up to 18 months. The committee found that this was a direct contravention of the right of the child to have his best interests taken as a primary consideration. The committee urged Germany to ensure that detention of asylum-seeking and migrant children is always used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time—in compliance with article 37(b) of the Convention on the Right of the Child—and that detention be subject to time limits and judicial review.[25]

Following its visit to Germany in November 2014, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted its concern about the lack of procedures in several federal states for the identification of vulnerable asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors or traumatised refugees. It urged Germany to prohibit pre-deportation custody orders against persons belonging to particularly vulnerable groups. The length of the detention should be reduced to the period of time strictly necessary for identification.[26]

Pursuant to Section 62(a)(1), if several members of a family are detained, they should be accommodated separately from other detainees awaiting deportation and be guaranteed adequate privacy. In practice, however, family members are often separated. In 2013 Pro Asyl and Diakonie Hessen reported that only in Berlin, Büren, and Ingelheim was there the possibility to accommodate families or couples together. In Eisenhüttenstadt and Hannover, couples were separately accommodated but they could see each other during the day. Also, in practice persons apprehended at the border in Saxony were sent to different places: men to Dresden and women to Eisenhüttenstadt. NGOs have documented several cases in which the deportations of family members detained in different facilities were scheduled at different times.[27]

Length of detention. The duration of “custody to prepare deportation” should not exceed six weeks (Residence Act, Section 62(2)). However, the General Administrative Regulation to the Residence Act describes “atypical” scenarios in which immigration detention can last longer, for instance when there is a delay in ordering expulsion due to circumstances provoked by the detainee (General administrative regulation to the Residence Act, Section 62.1.3). 

“Custody to secure deportation” and “detention pending exit from the federal territory” may be ordered for up to six months. If an immigration detainee hinders his deportation, detention may be extended up to maximum of eighteen months (Residence Act, Sections 62(4) and 15(5)). The General Administrative Regulation to the Residence Act provides examples of such behaviour, which include lack of participation in getting travel documents, breach of the requirement to surrender the passport, and refusal to contact the diplomatic mission of the non-citizen’s country of origin (General Administrative Regulation to the Residence Act, section 62.3.2). The period of time a detainee has been subject to “custody to prepare deportation” should count towards the overall duration of “custody to secure deportation” or “detention pending exit from the federal territory” (Residence Act, Section 62(4)). 

Asylum seekers coming from “safe countries” can be confined in the airport transit zones up to 19 days.[28]

The detention of persons who apply for asylum while in detention should be terminated as soon as the decision on the asylum application has been delivered and no later than four weeks after the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has received the application, unless another country has been requested to admit or re-admit the foreigner on the basis of European Community law or of an international treaty on the responsibility of processing asylum applications, or unless the application for asylum has been rejected as inadmissible or manifestly unfounded (Asylum Act, Section 14(3)). Thus, the maximum one-month period of detention applies only to persons for whose asylum claims Germany is responsible. Those subject to the Dublin Regulation may stay in detention during the entire proceedings.

The UN Working Ground on Arbitrary Detention urged Germany to subject the duration of detention pending deportation to the strict application of the principle of proportionality and limit it to the shortest possible period. It also recommended that the duration of pre-deportation custody be significantly decreased.[29]

Procedural guarantees. A non-citizen can only be placed in detention by a judicial order (Residence Act, Section 62(2)-(3)). Pre-removal detention decisions are the responsibility of the district courts where the non-citizen in question resides or, if he has not a permanent resident, where detention is to take place (General Administrative Regulation to the Residence Act, Section 62.0.3). Before the court makes a decision, the person concerned has the right to a personal hearing (Act on Procedure in Family Matters and in Non-Contentious Matters, Section 420). 

Authorities may detain without a prior judicial order when: 1) there is strong suspicion the person will be required to leave federal territory because of unlawful entry; 2) it is not possible to obtain the judicial order for detention to secure deportation beforehand; and 3) there is a well-founded suspicion that he intends to evade the detention order. In such cases, the person is to be brought before the court without delay for a detention order (Residence Act, Section 62(5)).

Detention orders must provide reasons for detention measures and specify the date they will end (Act on Procedure in Family Matters and in Non-Contentious Matters, Sections 421-422; Residence Act, Section 62a(5)).[30] Court-ordered extension of detention is subject to the same rules as the initial detention order. The German legal framework thus provides for automatic judicial review of immigration detention. Also, detainees have the right to appeal against detention order before a regional court (Act on Procedure in Family Matters and in Non-Contentious Matters, Sections 425 and 429).[31] According to non-governmental sources dated 2010, judges frequently issue detention orders even when authorities do not sufficiently explain the reasons justifying this measure.[32]

As provided in the Residence Act, detainees are allowed to establish contact with legal representatives (Residence Act, Section 62a(2)). There is a possibility to apply for legal aid in the context of judicial review of detention.[33] In 2013, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that a person in pre-deportation detention should be provided with the means necessary to legally defend him against the detention order, including by the appointment of a lawyer, if he does not have the financial means to pay for one himself.[34] However, free legal aid is dependent on how the court assesses the chances of success. Thus, in practice, free legal aid is rarely granted.[35] Migrants have the right to compensation for unlawful immigration detention but the rules are not explicitly laid down in the Residence Act. People concerned would need to rely on the Constitution and Civil Code.[36]

Trends and statistics. The number of immigration detainees has decreased in recent years. According to National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, in 2013, the country detained 4,812 non-citizens, compared to 5,748 in 2012, and 6,781 in 2011.[37] The ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Bero & Bouzalmate spurred an additional drop in the number of pre-removal detainees in the second half of 2014. Since then, international rights bodies like the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have pressured the country to further diminish detainee numbers.[38] According to official sources, in 2014 the country detained 1,850 non-citizens slated for removal and in the first half of 2015, 563.[39] It is important to note that these figures may sometimes not be completely coherent because some federal states include Dublin detainees in these statistics and others do not.[40]

Accessing information on German immigration detention practices has historically been very challenging. These difficulties stem in part from the federal, decentralised nature of the country’s immigration enforcement system (there are similar challenges in Switzerland). Because immigration detention is under the authority of regional governments, federal authorities claim they do not have this information. For instance, in April 2013, responding to a joint request for immigration detention statistics filed by the Global Detention Project and Access Info Europe, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees claimed that it did not have “statistics on immigrants in custody” and directed requests to the Federal Statistical Office.[41] The statistics office reported that while it had some statistics on the numbers of foreigners in prison, it did not collect statistics related to the immigration status of these prisoners.[42] Previously, in 2011, the Global Detention Project sent information requests on where and how many people were detained to relevant authorities in each federal state. Only nine responded with the requested information; two states claimed that the information we sought was “sensitive” and requested that additional steps be taken before they would release any information.[43]

Alternatives to detention. According to the Residence Act, pre-removal detention is not permissible if the purpose of the custody can be achieved by other, less severe means (Residence Act, Section 62(1)).

However, unlike in most other EU countries, the Residence Act does not clearly enumerate “alternatives to detention.” The key non-custodial measure referred to in the Residence Act is “geographic restriction,” which limits the geographical movement of the person concerned. This measure may be ordered in a few circumstances, including if “concrete measures to terminate the stay are imminent against the foreigner” (Residence Act, Section 61(1c)(3) and 46(1)).[44] It is not explicitly framed as an alternative to detention. The Residence Act also provides that further conditions and requirements may be imposed (Section 61(1e)). Examples of such measures provided in the General Administrative Regulation relating to the Residence Act (Section 46.1), including reporting duties, obligation to reside in a particular place, or obligation to surrender documents.[45] These measures are also not framed explicitly alternatives to detention but rather as measures securing removal.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has addressed alternatives to detention during its visits to Germany. Following its 2011 visit to Germany, the WGAD urged authorities to use alternatives to detention for non-citizens who do not have valid visas.[46] Following its 2014 visit, the WGAD noted that the principles of necessity and proportionality under international law require the use of alternatives to detention.[47]

Criminalisation. Violations of numerous provisions of the Residence Act can result in criminal sanctions. A one-year prison sentence or a fine may be imposed on a non-citizen who resides in the federal territory without a recognised and valid passport, passport substitute or other identification papers; resides in the federal territory without a necessary residence title (including visa or temporary residence permit) and has failed to depart despite being ordered to do so; has unlawfully entered the German territory; leaves German territory if he intends to enter another state without being in possession of the necessary documents; does not collaborate with identification procedures; or fails repeatedly to meet reporting and geographic restrictions obligations (Section 95(1)).[48]

While there are numerous cases of people being criminally charged for immigration-related violations, according to observers these processes rarely result in prison sentences. For example, in 2010 there were some 2,700 convictions for undocumented stay in Germany; however, only 251 of those cases resulted in prison sentences, of which only 70 actually led to time being served in criminal incarceration.[49]

Privatisation. Several private contractors have been involved in the care and custody of immigration detainees in Germany, although observers have noted that there is considerable resistance in the country to allowing private companies access to this area of public policy. In April 2014, the head of Germany’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture told the Global Detention Project that “Privatisation seems to work well in some cases because the people who are employed by the private companies to work in the detention centres are generally not German, and the fact that they are foreigners like the detainees seems to comfort them. … However, it is difficult to promote privatisation in Germany because it is not an accepted idea to have private actors working on behalf of the state in this area.”[50]

The scholar Georg Menz provides a similar assessment of privatisation in Germany, noting that “privatization of detention has proven highly politically contested and ultimately did not proceed fully. … Given both legal concerns and political resistance to involving private-sector companies in such a sensitive policy domain, there is no interest in broadening the remit of private section involvement. Political resistance combined with a comparatively low extent of neoliberalization thus led to only minimal involvement of private actors.”[51]

Private firms providing services in immigration detention facilities in Germany include B.O.S.S. Security and Service, Kötter and European Homecare.[52] By 2013, six detention facilities were reportedly receiving security and/or management services from both government officers and private firms: Berlin Airport, Büren, Eisenhüttenstadt, Hamburg-Billwerder, Ingelheim, and Rendsburg.[53] Following the overhaul Germany’s immigration detention estate in 2014, by 2016 at least three facilities outsourced some of the services to a private contractor, including Eisenhüttenstadt, Ingelheim, and Büren.[54]

For several years, B.O.S.S. has been a contracting partner with Brandenburg regional authorities at the centre in Eisenhüttenstadt. It reportedly provides security personnel, catering, and social services while the Brandenburg government migration agency provides overall supervision.[55] Some observers in Germany have termed this relationship a “public-private partnership.”[56]

In 2014, the Germany’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture found that neither the state-provided personnel nor the B.O.S.S. personnel were trained in prison services.[57] However, in previous years, observers commended B.O.S.S. for its management of this facility. The CPT, in the report on its 2005 visit to the facility, reported: “Many of the private security staff met by the delegation had already been present at the time of the previous visit [in 2000]. The delegation observed that their general attitude towards foreign detainees had significantly improved. They were ready to communicate and were described by most inmates as sympathetic. This is a welcome development.” However, according to the committee, “certain sensitive activities, such as searching and other security measures, including means of restraint, were frequently performed exclusively by private security staff.” The CPT stressed that “private security staff working at Eisenhuttenstadt should be held to the same standards in the execution of their duties as apply to staff employed by the Ministry of the Interior. In order to safeguard the rights of immigration detainees and prevent ill-treatment, special arrangements should be made to ensure that the standards … are applied.”[58] A rights advocate interviewed by the Global Detention Project in 2009 favourably compared Eisenhüttenstadt to a police-run detention facility in Brandenburg. In conversation with the GDP, the advocate said that the Eisenhüttenstadt centre was much better managed than the police-run facility. He added, “If it were me, I’d prefer to be in the B.O.S.S. facility.”[59]

Kötter provides services in Ingelheim and Büren centres. In Ingelheim, the firm provides security services and in Büren, security and medical assistance.[60]

European Homecare is best known as a key service provider at reception centres for asylum seekers in Germany.[61] It has also reportedly operated a detention facility at Düsseldorf airport.[62] In 2014, the enterprise was the focus of a scandal in Germany regarding mistreatment of asylum seekers. In October 2014, police announced that they were investigating allegations that guards at reception centres in Burbach and Essen assaulted asylum seekers and in some cases took pictures of themselves as they abused the people.[63] In March 2017, the public prosecutor brought the charges against several employees of European Homecare and state-provided guardians.[64]

Regulation of detention conditions. By virtue of the Residence Act (Section 62(a)), as a general principle, custody awaiting deportation should be enforced in specialised detention facilities. If there are no specialised detention facilities in the federal territory, custody awaiting deportation may be enforced in other custodial institutions; in such cases the persons in detention awaiting deportation shall be accommodated separately from prisoners serving criminal sentences. This provision, effectively prioritising the use of dedicated facilities, was inserted as a response to the CJEU’s ruling in Bero & Bouzalmate (see below “Infrastructure”). 

The Residence Act provides only basic principles for conditions and treatment in detention.[65] It provides that if several members of a family are detained, they should be accommodated separately from other detainees awaiting deportation. They should be guaranteed adequate privacy. Detainees awaiting deportation should be permitted to establish contact with legal representatives, family members, the competent consular authorities and the relevant aid and support organisations (Section 62(a)).

Basic rules spelled out in the Residence Act are supplemented at the federal states’ level merely in a few federal states. It appears that only federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, and North Rhine-Westphalia have adopted specific laws regulating enforcement of immigration detention.[66] Berlin’s 1995 Gesetz über den Abschiebungsgewahrsam im Land Berlin; Brandenburg’s 1996 Gesetz über den Vollzug der Abschiebungshaft ausserhalb von Justizvollzugsanstalten; Bremen’s 2001 Gesetz über den Abschiebungsgewahrsam and North Rhine-Westphalia’s 2015 Gesetz über den Vollzug der Abschiebungshaft in Nordrhein-Westfalen provide a number of guarantees, including that detainees should be informed, if possible in their language, about their rights and obligations; men and women should be confined separately; family members should be accommodated together or at the least have the possibility to spend time together; detainees should be able to file complaints with the facility management and have access to recreational activities, receive visits, and have access to mail.

Cost of detention. In 2014, the daily detention costs per person ranged between approximately 43 euros in Bremen and 420 in Hannover Langenhagen.[67] The Residence Act (Section 66(1) and 67(1)) stipulates that costs relating to deportation, including the costs of detention, are to be borne by the non-citizen. Non-citizen should pay these costs to be permitted to re-enter Germany, even after the period of validity of re-entry ban.[68] Reportedly these costs are to be paid by non-citizen only in the event of deportation, thus the obligation to pay for deportation and detention can pressure them to leave.[69]

 

DETENTION INFRASTRUCTURE

Until recently, Germany was one of a very small number of European countries—Switzerland being another notable case—where prisons were used for the purpose of immigration-related detention. As of 2013, of the 27 facilities used for immigration detention, four were dedicated immigration detention centres (Berlin-Köpenick, Eisenhüttenstadt, Ingelheim, and Rendsburg), three were airport transit centres (Berlin-Brandenburg, Düsseldorf, and Frankfurt), and three were police stations (Bremen, Frankfurt, and Westhessen). The remaining 17 facilities were prisons (Aschaffenburg, Büren, Bützow, Chemnitz, Dresden, Frankfurt I, Frankfurt III, Hamburg-Billwerder, Hannover-Langenhagen, Mannheim, Mühldorf am Inn, München,Nürnberg, Rockenberg, Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Suhl-Goldlauter, and Volkstedt).[70]

As of July 2017, however, Germany used only six facilities for immigration detention purposes: five dedicated long-term immigration detention facilities, in Pforzheim (Baden-Württemberg), Eichstätt (Bavaria), Hannover (Langenhagen) (Lower Saxony), Büren (North Rhine-Westphalia), and Ingelheim am Rhein (Rhineland-Palatinate); and one police station, in Bremen.[71] In addition, it operated five medium-term airport detention centres (at the Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, and Hamburg airports).[72]

The large decline in the size of Germany’s immigration detention system has been spurred by judicial decisions made by the European Court of Justice. Although Germany’s use of prisons for carrying out immigration detention was for many years the subject of intense criticism from various human rights bodies, including the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the country stubbornly resisted carrying out reforms.[73] In addition, despite a provision in the EU Returns Directive stipulating that immigration detention take place as a rule in specialised detention facilities, the federal nature of Germany’s governance and its decentralised immigration authority led the country to transpose the directive to allow for detention “in other custodial institutions” when a federal state does not have a specialised facility at its disposal (62a(1) of the Residence Act).

In July 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered long-awaited rulings in a series of cases concerning the use of prisons in Germany. In the Bero & Bouzalmate case, the court found the practice of systematically detaining immigration detainees in prisons incompatible with article 16(1) of the EU Returns Directive. The CJEU ruled that Germany cannot rely on the fact that there are no dedicated detention facilities in some of its federal states to justify holding non-citizens in prison pending their removal. In Pham, the court found that the same rule applies even if an immigration detainee consents to being confined in penitentiary. The court established that a federal country like Germany is not obliged to set up specialised centres in each of its states. However, it is obliged to establish procedures that enable federal states that do not have dedicated facilities to place migrants in specialised facilities located in other states.[74]

The 2014 CJEU rulings prompted an overhaul of the immigration detention system immigration detention facilities. At the time of the rulings, only five German states had dedicated facilities: Berlin (Berlin-Köpenick), Brandenburg (Eisenhüttenstadt), Rhineland-Palatinate (Ingelheim), Saarland (Ingelheim), and Schleswig-Holstein (Rendsburg). States that were using prisons or other criminal facilities[75] announced that dedicated facilities would be set up and that during the transition they would transfer immigration detainees to states that have such facilities.[76]

CURRENT DETENTION FACILITIES

Ingelheim. The Ingelheim dedicated immigration detention centre is the only currently operating facility that operated as a specialised immigration facility before the 2014 CJEU rulings. Established in 2001, the centre was renovated in 2012.[77] As of 2016, it had a capacity of 70[78]; capacity reduced to 40 by 2017.[79] The facility is comprised mainly of single-room cells. The cells are equipped with a bed, a table, a chair, a locker, and a wardrobe. There is also a separate area with a sink and a toilet. The National Agency for the Prevention of Torture found the rooms and sitting rooms clean and in a good state of repair. The cells are open during the day and detainees can spend four hours a day outside.[80] According to official sources, as of 2016, detainees had access to internet and could use their phones, provided they did not have cameras, receive visits every day, and wear their own clothes.[81] In 2013, the centre staff was comprised of both state authorities and staff provided by the private firm Kötter.[82] In 2016, the federal state’s authorities confirmed that the centre used services of private companies for surveillance, medical care, cleaning, and telephone service.[83]

Hannover-Langenhagen. The Hannover-Langenhagen detention centre is one of two currently operating detention facilities that operated as a criminal prison before the CJEU ruling (the other is Büren). When Hannover-Langenhagen was still a prison, its immigration detention capacity was 64 and it confined men, women, and children in single-, double- and 4-person rooms. The rooms were equipped with bed, table and chair, with toilets and showers located elsewhere on the floor. During the day, detainees could move freely about the facility and had one hour outdoors.[84] After it was converted to a dedicated immigration detention centre, the Hannover facility had a capacity of 30, which increased to 68 by 2017. The capacity is planned to increase up to 116.[85] According to official sources, detainees can move freely on the premises and their rooms are never locked. They can receive visits every day, have access to free internet, and spend at least four hours outdoors daily.[86]

Büren. Since the mid-1980s, non-citizens were detained in the 426-person immigration detention section of the Büren prison. Rooms, ranging from single to six-person, were equipped with beds, table, chairs, locker, sink and toilet. Detainees had at their disposal a kitchen and sitting area. Families and couples could be detained together in a 4-bed room equipped with WC, shower, and cooking facilities. While women could move freely in their unit during the day, men’s rooms were open only four hours per day. The facility was guarded by state’s prison service and the private firm Kötter.[87] With the transformation of the prison to a dedicated immigration detention capacity in May 2015, the centre had a capacity of 100,[88] which increased to 120 in February 2017, then to 140 in May 2017. The capacity is planned to eventually increase to 175. In 2016, the average daily number of detainees was 58.[89] As confirmed by official sources, Kötter was in charge of surveillance and medical care. With 30-35 employees working at the centre, the Kötter earns roughly 230,000 euros monthly for surveillance and 23,000 for health assistance.[90]

Pforzheim. Pforzheim is one of two centres that did not detain migrants before the reform (the other is Eichstätt). Set up in April 2016 on the premises of a former juvenile prison, the Pforzheim facility had a capacity of 21 in 2016, which increased to 36 in 2017 and will expand to 80 places by spring 2018. According to official sources, detainees are allowed to move freely within the premises, receive visits, make phone calls, use the internet in an internet café, prepare their meals and wear their own clothes.[91]

Eichstätt. Eichstätt, the newest detention centre in Germany, opened in June 2017. Established at the premises of a former prison, the facility has a capacity of 96. The centre replaced the facility in Mühldorf am Inn.[92] Since the end of 2013, the Mühldorf am Inn prison was the only prison in Bavaria confining non-citizens; previously the state used several prisons for this purpose.[93] After the transformation of the prison to a dedicated detention centre, the facility had a capacity of 82.[94] According to official sources, detainees could move freely in the facility during the day, had access to pastoral care, sport facilities, TV, telephone, and kitchen to prepare their own food. The centre employed law enforcement officers, physicians, psychologists, and social pedagogues.[95] Reportedly, Bavaria plans to establish a new detention centre in Passau with a capacity of 100-200. Construction work is supposed to start in 2019.[96]

Bremen. The state of Bremen continues to detain immigration detainees in the Bremen police headquarters.[97] The ground floor of the building confines people in police custody, while the first floor confines up to 20 immigration detainees.[98] Reportedly, these two areas, including the common areas, are fully separated from each other. Both categories of detainees share the same yard but they have different outdoor times. Immigration detainees have more freedoms and rights in detention than people in police custody.[99] Because these features, many observers in Germany classify the facility as a specialised detention centre.[100] However, in the GDP’s typology this facility remains a “police station.” First, immigration detainees can be accommodated in secured cells on the ground floor if they pose a danger to other detainees or themselves. Reportedly, this happens rarely. Secondly, both sections of the building are run by the police and the custodial authority over both of them is vested in the interior ministry.[101] As of 2013, detainees were confined in 1-person cells, equipped with bed, table, and chair. The cells were poorly ventilated. Men and women sections were separated from each other and both included a sitting room, equipped with a TV, video, fridge, and microwave. During the day detainees could move freely in their sections of the facility.[102] According to both official and non-governmental sources, as of 2016, the rooms were locked just for the night and detainees could used their mobile telephones and their own clothes and can prepare their own meals. They have access to TV, games, small library, and prayer room.[103]

Eisenhüttenstadt. Germany has a privately operated detention centre in Eisenhüttenstadt, which was temporarily closed in March 2017 due to the lack of compliance with security standards.[104] The centre is planned to re-open in mid-2018.[105] Established in 1993, the Eisenhüttenstadt facility has a capacity of 108 before its temporary closure.[106] It was divided into four sections, one of which was for women. It had several 3-person rooms, each equipped with beds, tables, and chairs. Detainees could move about freely on the floor during the day and were allowed a one-hour walk outside. According to official sources, detainees were locked in their rooms only at night; they could receive visits every day; wear their own clothes and use their telephones and laptops; and they had access to outdoor areas as well as a gym and a library. They could not prepare their meals.[107] The facility has been partially operated by a private contractor, B.O.S.S. Security and Service GmbH (see above “Privatisation”).[108] Official sources report that as of 2016 another private firm was in charge of surveillance and care.[109]

Medium-term airport detention centres. As of 2017, Germany operated five medium-term airport detention centres, located at the Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, and Hamburg airports.[110] These facilities are used to confine asylum seekers coming from “safe countries” or those arriving without identity papers during airport procedure, which, according to the Asylum Act, last up to 19 days. Germany considers people confined in these facilities to not have yet entered the country (see above “Grounds for detention”). As a result, the GDP classifies these facilities as medium-term “transit centre” detention sites.

As of 2017, the Düsseldorf airport facility had a capacity of 50[111]; Hamburg 20[112]; Munich approximately 20[113]; and Berlin 30.[114] The Berlin airport facility, which contracts security to B.O.S.S., cost 1.3 million euros to build.[115]  The Frankfurt airport had a capacity of 100 but usually detained less people, up to around 50.

Frankfurt airport. The Frankfurt airport facility confines people in 6-person rooms and separates women and men. It also has a space for families.[116] Detainees have two sitting rooms and a courtyard at their disposal and they can move about freely in the facility. The National Agency for the Prevention of Torture found that the facility was clean, properly lighted and furnished.[117] Although in theory people can be confined there for up to 19 days at the facility, Caritas Frankfurt and Hessischer Flüchtlingsrat report that frequently people have been held for longer, due to prolonged identification or deportation proceedings.[118] After 30 days in the detention centre another judge has to decide about further detention and frequently orders it for three months. If the deportation has not taken place within that period due to lack of travel documents, in most cases people are allowed entry to the country. Rarely, their detention at the airport is extended for another three months. According to official figures for 2016, of the 258 people detained in the airport centre, 188 were allowed to enter the country and 64 were deported within two days.[119]

Since the introduction of “custody to secure departure” in 2015, the country set up places where this form of detention may be carried out. As of July 2017, these places included Hannover-Langenhagen detention centre and Hamburg airport, while the plans are to set up such facility also in Dresden.[120]

 


[2] Allan Hall and John Lichfield, "Germany opens its gates: Berlin says all Syrian asylum-seekers are welcome to remain, as Britain is urged to make a 'similar statement'," Independent, 24 August 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-opens-its-gates-berlin-says-all-syrian-asylum-seekers-are-welcome-to-remain-as-britain-is-10470062.html; Kate Connolly, "Angela Merkel defends Germany's refugee policy after attacks," The Guardian, 28 July 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/28/merkel-rejects-calls-to-change-germanys-refugee-policy-after-attacks.

[3] Mary Bulman, "Germany suspends deportations to Afghanistan following Kabul attack," Independent, 31 May 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-kabul-attack-deportation-flight-afganistan-migrants-cancel-a7764811.html; UNICEF, “Geplantes Gesetz zur besseren Durchsetzung der Ausreisepflicht muss das Wohl der betroffenen Kinder berücksichtigen,” 22 February 2017, https://www.unicef.de/informieren/aktuelles/presse/2017/stellungnahme-unicef-ausreisepflicht/135618.

[4] AITIMA, “Serious Problem Regarding Family Reunification For Asylum Seekers In Germany Under Dublin III Regulation,” 14 July 2017, http://aitima.gr/index.php/en/news/421-14-07-2017-serious-problem-regarding-family-reunification-for-asylum-seekers-in-germany-under-dublin-iii-regulation.

[5] Lorena Gazzotti, "German plans to send migrant children to reception centres in Morocco ignore lessons from history," The Conversation, 29 June 2017, http://theconversation.com/german-plans-to-send-migrant-children-to-reception-centres-in-morocco-ignore-lessons-from-history-78012?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitterbutton

[6] BBC News, “Germany to resume sending migrants back to Greece,” BBC News, 7 August 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40850938.

[7] Eurostat, “Enforcement of Immigration Legislation,” accessed 17 July 2017, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/asylum-and-managed-migration/data/database; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Asylum Trends 2013: Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, March 2014, www.unhcr.org/5329b15a9.html.

[8] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html.

[9] Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (EMN National Contact Point Germany), The Use of Detention and Alternatives to Detention in Germany, 2014, http://www.asyl-in-deutschland.rs/SharedDocs/Anlagen/EN/Publikationen/EMN/Studien/wp59-emn-abschiebungshaft.html?nn=7660242.

[10] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf. However in some other federal states, there are regulations or decrees adopted by Interior Ministries, see below.

[11] For more details on this point, see the 2014 Global Detention Project report on Germany, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-in-germany.

[12] For more details about difficulties faced by the GDP in accessing information about immigration detention practices in Germany, see the 2014 Global Detention Project report on Germany, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-in-germany.

[13] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[14] Stefan Kessler (Jesuit Refugee Service Germany), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), July-August 2017.

[15] If Federal Office for Migration and Refugees rejects the application within 48 hours, people have 3 days to appeal at a court, and the court has 14 days to decide about the case (if not people may enter the country as well), Timmo Scherenberg (Hessischer Flüchtlingsrat), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017; Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[16] Decision of 14 May 1996 (case No. 2 BvR 1516/93), BVerfGE 94, 166, quoted in Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[17] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx; Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Mission to Germany, A/HRC/19/57/Add.3, 23 February 2012, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[18] Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[19] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), May 2014, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany; Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[20] Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under article 19 of the Convention: Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Germany, CAT/C/DEU/CO/5, 12 December 2011, www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[21] Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe, From Deprivation to Liberty: Alternatives to detention in Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, December 2011, http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f0c10a72.html; Hendrik Cremer. Detention and human rights: The duration of the detention and the detention of unaccompanied minors in Germany, German Institute for Human Rights, March 2011, www.institut-fuer-menschenrechte.de/publikationen/detailansicht.html.

[22] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[23] Federal government, Response of the Federal Government to the major interpellation of the deputies Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Agnes Alpers, other MPs and the DIE LINKE: printed matter 17/10597: implementation of the deportation policy of the European Union and the practice of detention, Ministry of Interior, 4 September 2012, dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/105/1710597.pdf; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[24] EU Fundamental Rights Agency, European legal and policy framework on immigration detention of children, 2017, http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2017/child-migrant-detention.

[25] Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Concluding Observations on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Germany, CRC/C/DEU/CO/3-4, 25 February 2014, www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[26] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[27] Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[28] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[29] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[30] Holger Winkelmann, “The Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG) and its procedural implications,” Migrationsrecht.net, February 6 May 2014.

[31] Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (EMN National Contact Point Germany), The Use of Detention and Alternatives to Detention in Germany, 2014, http://www.asyl-in-deutschland.rs/SharedDocs/Anlagen/EN/Publikationen/EMN/Studien/wp59-emn-abschiebungshaft.html?nn=7660242.

[32] Peter Fahlbusch, “Haft in Verfahren nach der Dublin II-Verordnung (Detention in the context of the Dublin procedure),” Asylmagazin 9/2010, 289-295.

[33] Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (EMN National Contact Point Germany), The Use of Detention and Alternatives to Detention in Germany, 2014, http://www.asyl-in-deutschland.rs/SharedDocs/Anlagen/EN/Publikationen/EMN/Studien/wp59-emn-abschiebungshaft.html?nn=7660242.

[34] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[35] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[36] Kay Hailbronner and Daniel Thym, Completed Questionnaire for the project Contention: National Report – Germany, 2014, hhttp://contention.eu/country-reports/.

[37] Federal government, Response of the Federal Government to the major interpellation of the deputies Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Agnes Alpers, other MPs and the DIE LINKE: printed matter 17/10597: implementation of the deportation policy of the European Union and the practice of detention, Ministry of Interior, 4 September 2012, dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/105/1710597.pdf; National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html. There are some divergences in the statistics, according to the European Migration Network, Germany detained 4,309 non-citizens in 2013, 5,064 in 2012, and 6,466 in 2011, see Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (EMN National Contact Point Germany), The Use of Detention and Alternatives to Detention in Germany, 2014, http://www.asyl-in-deutschland.rs/SharedDocs/Anlagen/EN/Publikationen/EMN/Studien/wp59-emn-abschiebungshaft.html?nn=7660242; while according to official statistics 4,258 in 2013 and 5,131 in 2012, see Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[38] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[39] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[40] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[41] Global Detention Project and Access Info Europe, The Uncounted: The Detention of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Europe, December 2017, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/the-uncounted-the-detention-of-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-in-europe.

[42] Ralph Kaiser (Federal Statistical Office of Germany), Email correspondence with Lydia Medland (Access Info Europe) regarding joint Access Info Europe - Global Detention Project freedom of information request, 22 April 2014.

[43] For more details on the responses from each federal state, see the Appendix to the Global Detention Project report, "Immigration Detention in Germany," October 2014, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-in-germany.

[44] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany; European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Detention of third-country nationals in return procedures, November 2010, http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2010/detention-third-country-nationals-return-procedures; European Commission, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on EU Return Policy, COM (2014) 199, March 2014, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52014DC0199&from=EN.

[45] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany; European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Detention of third-country nationals in return procedures, November 2010, http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2010/detention-third-country-nationals-return-procedures; European Commission, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on EU Return Policy, COM (2014) 199, March 2014, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52014DC0199&from=EN.

[46] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Mission to Germany, A/HRC/19/57/Add.3, 23 February 2012, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[47] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[48] European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Criminalisation of migrants in an irregular situation and of persons engaging with them, 2014, http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2014/criminalisation-migrants-irregular-situation-and-persons-engaging-them.

[49] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Mission to Germany, A/HRC/19/57/Add.3, 23 February 2012, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx.

[50] Rainer Dopp (Head of the German Committee for the Prevention of Torture (National Agency for the Verhüting of torture)), Interview with Michael Flynn (GDP), 11 April 2014.

[51] Georg Menz, "The Neoliberalized State and the Growth of the Migration Industry." In The Migration Industry and the Commercialization of International Migration, Edited by Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen and Ninna Nyberg Sorensen, Routledge, 2012.

[52] Michael Flynn and Cecilia Cannon, "The Privatization of Immigration Detention: Towards a Global View," Global Detention Project Working Paper No.1, Global Detention Project, 2009, www.globaldetentionproject.org/fileadmin/docs/GDP_PrivatizationPaper_Final5.pdf; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/; Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf. The multinational company Serco, which has operated immigration detention facilities in Australia and the United Kingdom, has operated several prisons in Germany, although apparently not any facilities used for immigration purposes, see Georg Menz, "The Neoliberalized State and the Growth of the Migration Industry." In The Migration Industry and the Commercialization of International Migration, Edited by Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen and Ninna Nyberg Sorensen, Routledge, 2012, p. 120. 

[53] Pro Asyl, Situation in den bundesdeutschen Abschiebegefängnissen, April 2013, http://archiv.proasyl.de/fileadmin/proasyl/12-04-13_A-Haftbedingungen_-_PRO_Asyl_2__Quartal_2013_01.pdf; Indymedia, “BOSS and asylum jail Schönefeld,” 27 July 2012, de.indymedia.org/2012/07/333103.shtml.

[54] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[55] Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/; Indymedia, “BOSS and asylum jail Schönefeld,” 27 July 2012, de.indymedia.org/2012/07/333103.shtml; B.O.S.S, Website, http://www.boss-berlin.de/index.php; Michael Flynn and Cecilia Cannon, "The Privatization of Immigration Detention: Towards a Global View," Global Detention Project Working Paper No.1, Global Detention Project, 2009, www.globaldetentionproject.org/fileadmin/docs/GDP_PrivatizationPaper_Final5.pdf; Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[56] Indymedia, “BOSS and asylum jail Schönefeld,” 27 July 2012, de.indymedia.org/2012/07/333103.shtml.

[57] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html.

[58] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the German Government on the visit to Germany Carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 25 November to 7 December 2010, CPT/Inf (2012) 6, February 2012, www.cpt.coe.int/documents/deu/2012-06-inf-eng.pdf; Michael Flynn and Cecilia Cannon, "The Privatization of Immigration Detention: Towards a Global View," Global Detention Project Working Paper No.1, Global Detention Project, 2009, www.globaldetentionproject.org/fileadmin/docs/GDP_PrivatizationPaper_Final5.pdf. 

[59] Michael Flynn and Cecilia Cannon, "The Privatization of Immigration Detention: Towards a Global View," Global Detention Project Working Paper No.1, Global Detention Project, 2009, www.globaldetentionproject.org/fileadmin/docs/GDP_PrivatizationPaper_Final5.pdf.

[60] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf; Neue Westfälische, “Verbände sollen zur JVA Büren gehört werden,”Neue Westfälische, 27 August 2014, www.nw-news.de/owl/11225760_Verbaende_sollen_zur_JVA_Bueren_gehoert_werden.html; National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[61] European Homecare, “Was bieten wir unseren Kunden?” Website, 19 July 2017, http://www.eu-homecare.com/de/dienstleistungen/was-bieten-wir-unseren-kunden/.

[62] Georg Menz, "The Neoliberalized State and the Growth of the Migration Industry." In The Migration Industry and the Commercialization of International Migration, Edited by Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen and Ninna Nyberg Sorensen, Routledge, 2012, p. 120.

[63] Deutsche Welle, "German Police Raid Security Firm Accused of Abusing Asylum Seekers," Deutsche Welle, 6 October 2014, www.dw.de/german-police-raid-security-firm-accused-of-abusing-asylum-seekers/a-17979500.

[64] Zeit Online, “Anklage wegen Misshandlung von Asylbewerbern,” Zeit Online, 21 March 2017, http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2017-03/fluechtlingsunterkunft-burbach-misshandlung-anklage-mitarbeiter.

[65] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[66] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf. However, in some other federal states various guidelines or Interior Ministry’s decrees were in use, including in Lower Saxony the 2015 Hausordnung für die Abteilung Langenhagen der Justizvollzugsanstalt Hannover, 2015 Konzept für den Vollzug der Abschiebungshaft in der Abteilung Langenhagen, and 2014 Interior Ministry’s Erlass über die rechtlichen Hinweise und verfahrensmäßigen Vorgaben zur Organisation und Durchführung des Rückführungs- und Rücküberstellungsvollzugs (Abschiebung) und zur Beantragung von Abschiebungshaft; in Schleswig-Holstein the 2012 Erlass über Regelungen zur Durchführung der Abschiebungshaft; and in Thüringen the Verwaltungsvorschrift “Handakte für die Ausländerbehörden.”

[67] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[68] Christine Graebsch and Beate Selders, “Der Zugang zum Bundesgerichtshof ist das geringste Problem: Interview mit Christine Graebsch von Beate Selders,” In Haft ohne Straftat. Fakten und Argumente gegen Abschiebungshaft, Edited by Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg, Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein and Humanistische Union, Berlin, 2013, quoted in Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (EMN National Contact Point Germany), The Use of Detention and Alternatives to Detention in Germany, 2014, http://www.asyl-in-deutschland.rs/SharedDocs/Anlagen/EN/Publikationen/EMN/Studien/wp59-emn-abschiebungshaft.html?nn=7660242.

[69] Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (EMN National Contact Point Germany), The Use of Detention and Alternatives to Detention in Germany, 2014, http://www.asyl-in-deutschland.rs/SharedDocs/Anlagen/EN/Publikationen/EMN/Studien/wp59-emn-abschiebungshaft.html?nn=7660242.

[70] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html; Pro Asyl, Situation in den bundesdeutschen Abschiebegefängnissen, April 2013, http://archiv.proasyl.de/fileadmin/proasyl/12-04-13_A-Haftbedingungen_-_PRO_Asyl_2__Quartal_2013_01.pdf; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/. For a detailed description of the detention infrastructure before the overhaul in 2014, see the 2014 Global Detention Project report on Germany, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-in-germany.

[71] Stefan Kessler (Jesuit Refugee Service Germany), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), July-August 2017; Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany; Migreurop, “Fiche de pays: Allemagne,” Close the Camps, February 2016, http://closethecamps.org/pays/DEU; Ricarda Breyton and Tobias Heimbach, "Das Comeback der Abschiebehaft in Deutschland," Welt, 1 August 2017, https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article167243145/Das-Comeback-der-Abschiebehaft-in-Deutschland.html.

[72] Flüchtlingsrat NRW, Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017; Timmo Scherenberg (Hessischer Flüchtlingsrat), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017; Loulou Kinski (Münchner Flüchtlingsrat), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017; Anne Lausmann (Caritasverband Frankfurt), Telephone conversation with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 16 August 2017; Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg, Telephone conversation with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 17 August 2017; Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, “Flughafenverfahren,” Website, August 2016, http://www.bamf.de/DE/Fluechtlingsschutz/Sonderverfahren/FlughafenVerfahren/flughafenverfahren-node.html; Migreurop, “Fiche de pays: Allemagne,” Close the Camps, February 2016, http://closethecamps.org/pays/DEU; Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, “Flughafenverfahren,” Website, August 2016, http://www.bamf.de/DE/Fluechtlingsschutz/Sonderverfahren/FlughafenVerfahren/flughafenverfahren-node.html.

[73] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the German Government on the visit to Germany Carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 25 November to 7 December 2010, CPT/Inf (2012) 6, February 2012, www.cpt.coe.int/documents/deu/2012-06-inf-eng.pdf. The CPT criticised the use of prisons in Germany on several occasions, for more details on the exchanges between the CPT and German authorities on this issue, see the 2014 Global Detention Project report on Germany, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-in-germany.

[74] Izabella Majcher, "The EU Returns Directive and the Use of Prisons for Detaining Migrants in Europe," EU Law Analysis, July 2014, eulawanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/the-eu-returns-directive-and-use-of.html. 

[75] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html; Pro Asyl, Situation in den bundesdeutschen Abschiebegefängnissen, April 2013, http://archiv.proasyl.de/fileadmin/proasyl/12-04-13_A-Haftbedingungen_-_PRO_Asyl_2__Quartal_2013_01.pdf; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/. For a detailed description of the detention infrastructure before the overhaul in 2014, see the 2014 Global Detention Project report on Germany, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-in-germany.

[76] Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Addendum: Follow-up mission to Germany, A/HRC/30/36/Add.1, 10 July 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DEIndex.aspx; Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[77] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html; Pro Asyl, Situation in den bundesdeutschen Abschiebegefängnissen, April 2013, http://archiv.proasyl.de/fileadmin/proasyl/12-04-13_A-Haftbedingungen_-_PRO_Asyl_2__Quartal_2013_01.pdf; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[78] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[79] Ricarda Breyton and Tobias Heimbach, "Das Comeback der Abschiebehaft in Deutschland," Welt, 1 August 2017, https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article167243145/Das-Comeback-der-Abschiebehaft-in-Deutschland.html.

[80] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[81] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[82] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[83] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[84] Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[85] Ricarda Breyton and Tobias Heimbach, "Das Comeback der Abschiebehaft in Deutschland," Welt, 1 August 2017, https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article167243145/Das-Comeback-der-Abschiebehaft-in-Deutschland.html; Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany; HAZ, “JVA: Mehr Plätze für
Abschiebungshaft,” HAZ, 18 March 2016, http://www.haz.de/Hannover/Aus-der-Region/Langenhagen/Nachrichten/Mehr-Plaetze-fuer-Abschiebungshaft-in-der-JVA-Abteilung-Langenhagen.

[86] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf; Eva-Maria Weiss, “Das Gefängnis der offenen Türen,” Neue Presse, 21 February 2015, http://www.neuepresse.de/Hannover/Meine-Stadt/Das-Gefaengnis-der-offenen-Tueren.

[87] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the German Government on the visit to Germany Carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 25 November to 7 December 2010, CPT/Inf (2012) 6, February 2012, www.cpt.coe.int/documents/deu/2012-06-inf-eng.pdf; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/; Government of North Rhine-Westphalia, “NRW schafft in Büren mehr Plätze für die Abschiebungshaft,” Press release, 22 February 2017, https://www.land.nrw/de/pressemitteilung/nrw-schafft-bueren-mehr-plaetze-fuer-die-abschiebungshaft.  

[88] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany; Ministry of the Interior of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, “Abschiebungshaft in NRW: Land plant Einrichtung in Büren - Strafvollzug am Standort Büren wird eingestellt,” Press release, 28 November 2014, http://www.mik.nrw.de/presse-mediathek/aktuelle-meldungen/aktuelles-im-detail/news/abschiebungshaft-in-nrw-land-plant-einrichtung-in-bueren-strafvollzug-am-standort-bueren-wird-ei.html.

[89] Ricarda Breyton and Tobias Heimbach, "Das Comeback der Abschiebehaft in Deutschland," Welt, 1 August 2017, https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article167243145/Das-Comeback-der-Abschiebehaft-in-Deutschland.html; Government of North Rhine-Westphalia, “NRW schafft in Büren mehr Plätze für die Abschiebungshaft,” Press release, 22 February 2017, https://www.land.nrw/de/pressemitteilung/nrw-schafft-bueren-mehr-plaetze-fuer-die-abschiebungshaf; Matthias Bungeroth, “Bereitschaftspolizei muss Abschiebehaft in Büren sichern,” Neue Westfälische, 10 May 2017, http://www.nw.de/nachrichten/regionale_politik/21776870_Hundertschaft-der-Polizei-soll-Abschiebehaft-in-Bueren-sichern.html.  

[90] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf; Bernd Bexte, "Nur noch ein bisschen Gefängnis," Westfalen-Blatt, 18 June 2015, http://www.westfalen-blatt.de/OWL/Lokales/Kreis-Paderborn/Bueren/2017133-Neue-Abschiebeeinrichtung-in-Bueren-seit-einem-Monat-in-Betrieb-Nur-noch-ein-bisschen-Gefaengnis; Government of North Rhine-Westphalia, “NRW schafft in Büren mehr Plätze für die Abschiebungshaft,” Press release, 22 February 2017, https://www.land.nrw/de/pressemitteilung/nrw-schafft-bueren-mehr-plaetze-fuer-die-abschiebungshaf.

[91] Ricarda Breyton and Tobias Heimbach, "Das Comeback der Abschiebehaft in Deutschland," Welt, 1 August 2017, https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article167243145/Das-Comeback-der-Abschiebehaft-in-Deutschland.html; Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany; Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, “Abschiebungshafteinrichtung in Pforzheim nimmt Betrieb auf,” Website, 1 April 2016, https://www.baden-wuerttemberg.de/de/service/presse/pressemitteilung/pid/abschiebungshafteinrichtung-in-pforzheim-nimmt-betrieb-auf-1/.

[92] Tobias Betz and Joseph Röhmel, "Demo gegen Abschiebeknast Eichstätt," BR 24, 12 June 2017, http://www.br.de/nachrichten/oberbayern/inhalt/start-abschiebegefaegnis-eichstaett-100.html; Stefan Kessler (Jesuit Refugee Service Germany), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), July-August 2017.

[93] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html; Dietrich Mittler, "Letzte Station Mühldorf," Süddeutsche.de, 9 February 2014, http://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/abschiebung-von-fluechtlingen-letzte-station-muehldorf-1.1882860.

[94] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[95] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[96] Ricarda Breyton and Tobias Heimbach, "Das Comeback der Abschiebehaft in Deutschland," Welt, 1 August 2017, https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article167243145/Das-Comeback-der-Abschiebehaft-in-Deutschland.html.

[97] Martin von Borstel (Verein für Rechtshilfe im Justizvollzug des Landes Bremen), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017; Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[98] Ricarda Breyton and Tobias Heimbach, "Das Comeback der Abschiebehaft in Deutschland," Welt, 1 August 2017, https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article167243145/Das-Comeback-der-Abschiebehaft-in-Deutschland.html; Martin von Borstel (Verein für Rechtshilfe im Justizvollzug des Landes Bremen), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[99] Martin von Borstel (Verein für Rechtshilfe im Justizvollzug des Landes Bremen), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[100] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany; Martin von Borstel (Verein für Rechtshilfe im Justizvollzug des Landes Bremen), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[101] Martin von Borstel (Verein für Rechtshilfe im Justizvollzug des Landes Bremen), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[102] Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[103] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[104] RBB 24, "Das nötige Know-how ist in der Innenverwaltung nicht gegeben," RBB 24, 24 March 2017, https://www.rbb-online.de/studiofrankfurt/beitraege/2017/03/brandenburgs-abschiebehaft-geschlossen.html.

[105] Stefan Kessler (Jesuit Refugee Service Germany), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), July-August 2017.

[106] Informationsverbund Asyl und Migration, “Country report: Germany,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/germany.

[107] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[108] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html; Pro Asyl, Situation in den bundesdeutschen Abschiebegefängnissen, April 2013, http://archiv.proasyl.de/fileadmin/proasyl/12-04-13_A-Haftbedingungen_-_PRO_Asyl_2__Quartal_2013_01.pdf; Pro Asyl and Diakonie in Hessen and Nassau, Schutzlos hinter Gittern: Abschiebungshaft in Deutschland, June 2013, https://www.proasyl.de/material/schutzlos-hinter-gittern-abschiebungshaft-in-deutschland/.

[109] Federal government, Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Große Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke, Jan Korte, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE: Drucksache 18/3769, Drucksache 18/7196, 6 January 2016, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/071/1807196.pdf.

[110] Flüchtlingsrat NRW, Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017; Timmo Scherenberg (Hessischer Flüchtlingsrat), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017; Loulou Kinski (Münchner Flüchtlingsrat), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017; Anne Lausmann (Caritasverband Frankfurt), Telephone conversation with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 16 August 2017; Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg, Telephone conversation with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 17 August 2017; Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, “Flughafenverfahren,” Website, August 2016, http://www.bamf.de/DE/Fluechtlingsschutz/Sonderverfahren/FlughafenVerfahren/flughafenverfahren-node.html; Migreurop, “Fiche de pays: Allemagne,” Close the Camps, February 2016, http://closethecamps.org/pays/DEU; Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, “Flughafenverfahren,” Website, August 2016, http://www.bamf.de/DE/Fluechtlingsschutz/Sonderverfahren/FlughafenVerfahren/flughafenverfahren-node.html.

[111] Flüchtlingsrat NRW, Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[112] Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg, Telephone conversation with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 17 August 2017.

[113] Undisclosed source, Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[114] Undisclosed source, Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[115] Katrin Starke, "At Schönefeld Airport refugees live behind bars," Berliner Morgenpost, 10 October 2013.

[116] Anne Lausmann (Caritasverband Frankfurt), Telephone conversation with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 16 August 2017.

[117] National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Annual Report 2013 of the Federal Agency and the Commission countries, April 2014, www.nationale-stelle.de/26.html.

[118] Anne Lausmann (Caritasverband Frankfurt), Telephone conversation with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 16 August 2017; Timmo Scherenberg (Hessischer Flüchtlingsrat), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[119] Timmo Scherenberg (Hessischer Flüchtlingsrat), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), August 2017.

[120] Stefan Kessler (Jesuit Refugee Service Germany), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), July-August 2017.

Centres List

No detention centres data available

Statistics Expand all



1,850

Total number of immigration detainees by year

2014

  • Total number of immigration detainees by year
NumberObservation Date
1,8502014
4,8122013
4,3092013
5,0642012
6,4662011
7,4952010
8,3662009


15

Total number of detained minors

2013

  • Total number of detained minors
NumberObservation Date
152013


370,555

Number of apprehensions of non-citizens

2016

  • Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
NumberObservation Date
370,5552016
376,4352015
128,2902014
86,3052013
64,8152012


0.04

Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population

2013

  • Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population
PercentageObservation Date
0.042013
0.062010


1,557

Estimated total immigration detention capacity

2013

  • Estimated total immigration detention capacity
NumberObservation Date
1,5572013


6

Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres

2017

  • Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
62017
72016
62013


400

Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres

2017

  • Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
4002017
5852013


0

Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres

2013

  • Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
02013


0

Number of immigration offices

2017

  • Number of immigration offices
NumberObservation Date
02017
02013


4

Number of transit facilities

2017

  • Number of transit facilities
NumberObservation Date
42017
22013


0

Number of criminal facilities

2017

  • Number of criminal facilities
NumberObservation Date
02017
02016
202013


0

Number of ad hoc facilities

2017

  • Number of ad hoc facilities
NumberObservation Date
02017
02013


75,815

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

2016

  • Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
NumberObservation Date
75,8152016
55,3402015
21,8952014
19,1802013
13,8552012


63.9

Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures

2014

  • Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
PercentageObservation Date
63.92014
75.62013


62,865

Criminal prison population

2016

  • Criminal prison population
NumberObservation Date
62,8652016
62,6322013


31.3

Percentage of foreign prisoners

2015

  • Percentage of foreign prisoners
PercentageObservation Date
31.32015


76

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

2016

  • Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
NumberObservation Date
762016
782013



80,689,000

Population

2015

  • Population
NumberObservation Date
80,689,0002015
82,000,0002012


12,005,000

International migrants

2015

  • International migrants
NumberObservation Date
12,005,0002015
9,845,2002013
11,606,0002010


14.9

International migrants as a percentage of the population

2015

  • International migrants as a percentage of the population
PercentageObservation Date
14.92015
11.92013


180,000 - 520,000

Estimated number of undocumented migrants

2014

  • Estimated number of undocumented migrants
NumberObservation Date
180,000 - 520,0002014
140,000 - 340,0002010


669,408

Refugees

2016

  • Refugees
NumberObservation Date
669,4082016
316,1152015
187,5672014
589,7372012


2.69

Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants

2014

  • Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
NumberObservation Date
2.692014
7.12012
72011


745,440

Total number of new asylum applications

2016

  • Total number of new asylum applications
NumberObservation Date
745,4402016
173,0722014
64,5402012
77,6512012


12,017

Stateless persons

2016

  • Stateless persons
NumberObservation Date
12,0172016
11,9782015
11,7092014
5,6832012

Domestic Law Expand all

Legal tradition Show sources
NameObservation Date
Civil law2017

Constitutional guarantees? Show sources
NameConstitution and ArticlesYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
YesBasic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, articles 2 and 10419492014
Core pieces of national legislation Show sources
NameYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory (Residence Act) (Gesetz über den Aufenthalt, die Erwerbstätigkeit und die Integration von Ausländern im Bundesgebiet or Aufenthaltsgesetz) 20042017
Asylum Act (Asylgesetz)19922017
Additional legislation Show sources
NameYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
Act on Procedure in Family Matters and in Non-Contentious Matters20082017
Act concerning the execution of prison sentences and measures of rehabilitation and prevention involving deprivation of liberty (Prison Act)19762013
Berlin Deportation Custody Law19952004
Brandenburg Law on the Execution of Detention outside Correctional Facilities19962014
Bremen Deportation Custody Law20012015
Gesetz über den Vollzug der Abschiebungshaft in Nordrhein-Westfalen2016
Regulations, standards, guidelines Show sources
NameYear Published
General administrative regulation to the Residence Act 2009

Immigration-status-related grounds Show sources
NameObservation Date
Detention during the asylum process2017
Detention to prevent unauthorised entry at the border2017
Detention for unauthorised entry or stay2017
Detention for failing to respect a voluntary removal order2017
Detention to prevent absconding2017
Detention to effect removal2017
Detention pending transfer to another Schengen country2017
Non-immigration-status-related grounds providing for administrative detention in immigration legislation. Show sources
NameObservation Date
Detention on public order, threats or security grounds2017
Detention for suspicion of terrorist-related activities2017

Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations? Show sources
FinesIncarcerationObservation Date
YesYes2017
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 entry3652017
Unauthorized re-entry10952017
Unauthorised stay3652017

Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law. Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
5402017
Maximum length of detention for asylum-seekers Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
282017
Maximum length of detention for persons detained upon arrival at ports of entry Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
192017

Provision of basic procedural standards Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Information to detaineesYes2017
Right to legal counselYes2017
Access to asylum proceduresYes2017
Independent review of detentionYes2017
Right to appeal the lawfulness of detentionYes2017
Compensation for unlawful detentionYes2014

Types of non-custodial measures Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Designated non-secure housingYesinfrequently2017
Supervised release and/or reportingYesYes2014
Registration (deposit of documents)YesYes2014
Release on bailNoNo2014
Electronic monitoringNoNo2014

Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice? Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
RefugeesNot mentioned2017
Asylum seekersProvidedNo2016
Unaccompanied minorsProvidedNo2013
Accompanied minorsProvidedYes2013

Mandatory detention Show sources
FilterNameObservation Date
NoNo2016

Expedited/fast track removal Show sources
NameObservation Date
Yes2013
Re-entry ban Show sources
NameObservation Date
Yes2013

International Law Expand all

International treaties Show sources
NameRatification Year
OP CRC Communications Procedure2013
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2009
ICPED, International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance2009
OPCAT, Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment2008
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children2006
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime2006
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child1992
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment1990
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women1985
CRSSP, Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons1976
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights1973
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights1973
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations1971
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination1969
PCRSR, Protocol to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees1969
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees1953
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
  16/19
International treaty reservations
NameReservation YearObservation Date
Individual complaints procedure Show sources
NameAcceptance Year
CRC, [Third] Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child establishing a communications procedure, 20112013
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities2009
ICPED, International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, declaration under article 312009
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 19992002
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention2001
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention2001
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 19661993
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted Show sources
NumberObservation Date
7/8
7/8
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation Year
Committee on the Rights of the Child

§ 69: The Committee recommends that the State party: (d) Ensure that detention of asylum-seeking and migrant children is always used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time, in compliance with article 37 (b) of the Convention, and that detention is made subject to time limits and judicial review.

2014
Committee against Torture

§ 24: The Committee urges the State party to: (a) Limit the number of detained asylum-seekers, including those who are the subject in “Dublin cases”, and the duration of their detention pending return, while observing the European Union Directive 2008/115/EC; (b) Ensure mandatory medical checks and systematic examination of mental illnesses or traumatization of all asylum-seekers including the “Dublin cases” by independent and qualified health professionals upon arrival in all Länder detention facilities; (c) Provide a medical and psychological examination and report by a specially trained independent health expert when the signs of torture or traumatization have been detected during the personal interviews by asylum authorities; and (d) Provide adequate accommodation for detained asylum-seekers separate from remand prisoners in all detention facilities, particularly for women awaiting deportation.

2011

Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation YearObservation Date
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)§ 33: the German authorities to take immediate steps to ensure that, in all German Länder (including Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Saxony), detention pending deportation is governed by specific rules reflecting the particular status of immigration detainees; § 33: the authorities of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Saxony to take the necessary measures to ensure that immigration detainees are accommodated in centres specifically designed for that purpose, meeting the criteria set out by the Committee in its 7th and 19th General Reports. Such measures should also be taken by the authorities of all other Länder which have not yet set up detention centres for foreigners; § 36: material conditions in the unit for male immigration detainees at Munich-Stadelheim Prison to be improved, in the light of the remarks made in paragraph 36; § 40: steps to be taken at Leipzig, Munich-Stadelheim and Schwäbisch Gmünd Prisons and, where appropriate, in other establishments in other Länder in Germany to ensure that an open-door regime is implemented for all immigration detainees throughout the day, steps to be taken at Munich-Stadelheim Prison to ensure that male immigration detainees are provided with board games and made aware of the possibilities of having access to reading material (in various languages) and that more recreational activities are organised for them; § 41: the authorities of Bavaria and, if necessary, of other Länder to take immediate steps to ensure that immigration detainees are granted regular and frequent access to the telephone (at the detainee’s own expense), the authorities of Baden-Württemberg and Saxony and, if necessary, of other Länder to take steps to ensure that all immigration detainees are allowed to receive at least one visit of one hour per week; § 43: the authorities of Bavaria and all other Länder to create secure rooms in major hospitals, with a view to avoiding the shackling of inmates to hospital beds, the authorities of all Länder to take steps to ensure that all medical examinations/consultations of hospitalised inmates are conducted out of the hearing and – unless the doctor concerned requests otherwise in a particular case – out of the sight of prison officers; § 45: at Leipzig and Schwäbisch Gmünd Prisons, written information on the house rules as well as on the legal status of, and procedure applicable to, immigration detainees to be provided to all foreign nationals, upon their admission to these establishments. Such information should be available in the most commonly used languages.20122012

Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission Show sources
NameYear in ForceObservation Date
Georgia20162017
Serbia20032017
Hong Kong20012017
Albania20032017
Algeria20062017
Netherlands19662017
Bosnia and Herzegovina19972017
Bulgaria20062017
Denmark19542017
Estonia19992017
France20052017
Georgia20082017
Hong Kong20062017
Kosovo20102017
Latvia19992017
Lithuania20002017
Morocco19982017
Macedonia20042017
Norway19552017
Austria19982017
Poland19942017
Romania19992017
Sweden19542017
Switzerland19942017
Serbia20112017
Slovakia20032017
South Korea20052017
Syria20092017
Czech Republic19952017
Hungary19992017
Viet Nam19952017
Luxembourg19662017
Belgium19662017
Russian Federation20122017
Moldova20102017
Armenia20082017
Bulgaria19952017
Romania19922017
Cape Verde (EU agreement)20132013
Georgia (EU agreement)20112011
Pakistan (EU agreement)20102010
Bosnia-Herzegovina (EU agreement)20082008
Macedonia (EU agreement)20082008
Moldova (EU agreement)20082008
Montenegro (EU agreement)20082008
Serbia (EU agreement)20082008
Ukraine (EU agreement)20082008
Russia (EU agreement)20072007
Albania (EU agreement)20062006
Sri Lanka (EU agreement)20052005
Hong Kong (EU agreement)20042004
Macao (EU agreement)20042004
Croatia19971997

Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council Show sources
NameYear of VisitObservation Date
Working Group on arbitrary detention2011
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance2009
Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief1997
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance1995
Working Group on arbitrary detention2014
Relevant recommendations by UN Special Procedures Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation YearObservation Date
Working Group on arbitrary detention

§ 84: To safeguard the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, the Government should prohibit pre-deportation custody orders against persons belonging to particularly vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied minors. The Working Group recommends that the Government reduce the length of the detention to the period of time strictly necessary for identification. 

§ 85: There is a need for special attention to be given to vulnerable asylum seekers during the initial medical check. 

§ 87: The Working Group recommends that the Government not limit court review of deportation orders, and build on the achievements in reducing the number of foreign nationals awaiting deportation in detention. 

§ 88: The duration of detention pending deportation should be subjected to the strict application of the principle of proportionality and limited to the shortest possible period. The Working Group recommends that the duration of pre-deportation custody be significantly decreased.
2015
Working Group on arbitrary detention§ 68 (e): The use of alternatives to detention for foreigners who are not in possession of a valid visa or whose visa is expired should always be considered; (f) The issue of proportionality in the detention of foreigners for illegal entry to the country or for illegal border crossing, coupled with harsh sentencing, should be carefully addressed; 2012
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review Show sources
Recomendation IssuedYear IssuedObservation Date
No20092017
Yes2013

Institutions Expand all

Federal or centralized governing system Show sources
Federal or centralized governing systemObservation Date
Federal system2017
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority Show sources
Centralized or decentralized immigration authorityObservation Date
Decentralized immigration authority2016

Custodial authority Show sources
AgencyMinistryMinistry TypologyObservation Date
Bavaria Ministry of JusticeRegional Authority-Justice2014
Bavaria Ministry of Interior, Building and Transport Regional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2014
Bavaria Ministry of Interior, Building and Transport Regional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2014
Bavaria Ministry of Interior, Building and Transport Regional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Bavaria Ministry of Justice Regional Authority-Justice2013
Berlin Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Bremen Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
North Rhine - Westfalia Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Saxony Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Saxony Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
North Rhine - Westfalia Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Brandenburg Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hesse Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hesse Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hamburg Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Lower Saxony Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Integration, Family, Children, Youth and WomenRegional Authority-Social Affairs2013
Baden-Würrtemberg Ministry of InterioRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Baden-Würrtemberg Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Bavaria Ministry of Interior, Building and Transport Regional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Schleswig - Holstein Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hesse Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Baden-Würrtemberg Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Thuringia Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Bremen Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Bavaria Ministry of Interior, Building and Transport Regional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Berlin Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Bremen Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
North Rhine - Westfalia Ministry of Justice Regional Authority-Justice2013
North Rhine - Westfalia Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
North Rhine - Westfalia Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania Ministry of JusticeRegional Authority-Justice2013
Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Saxony Ministry of Justice and European Affairs Regional Authority-Justice2013
Saxony Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Saxony Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Brandenburg Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hesse Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hesse Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hamburg Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Lower Saxony Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Integration, Family, Children, Youth and WomenRegional Authority-Social Affairs2013
Baden-Würrtemberg Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Baden-Würrtemberg Ministry of JusticeRegional Authority-Justice2013
Bavaria Ministry of Interior, Building and Transport Regional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Schleswig - Holstein Ministry of Justice, Cultural and European AffairsRegional Authority-Justice2013
Schleswig - Holstein Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Schleswig - Holstein Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hesse Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Baden-Würrtemberg Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Thuringia Ministry of JusticeRegional Authority-Justice2013
Thuringia Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Justice and Gender Equality Regional Authority-Justice2013
Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Interior and SportRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2013
Hamburg Ministry of Justice Regional Authority-Justice2013
Hesse Ministry of Justice, Integration and European AffairsRegional Authority-Justice2013
Lower Saxony Ministry of JusticeRegional Authority-Justice2013
Brandenburg Ministry of Interior2011
Regional Interior Ministry2011
Regional Justice Ministry2011
Brandenburg Ministry of Interior2011
Regional Interior Ministry2011
Regional Justice Ministry2011
Regional Justice Ministry2011
Regional Justice Ministry2011
Regional Justice Ministry2011
Brandenburg Ministry of InteriorRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2011
Regional Justice Ministry2011
Regional Justice Ministry2011
Regional Interior Ministry2009
Regional Interior Ministry2009
Regional Interior Ministry2009
Regional Justice Ministry2007
Senatsverwaltung für Inneres2007
Senatsverwaltung für Inneres2007
Regional Justice Ministry2007
Senatsverwaltung für Inneres2007
Regional Justice MinistryRegional Authority-Justice2007
Regional Justice MinistryRegional Authority-Justice2007
Senatsverwaltung für InneresRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2007
Regional Interior MinistryRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2007
Interior Ministry of Mecklenburg-VorpommernRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs2007
Regional Justice MinistryRegional Authority-Justice2007
Regional Justice MinistryRegional Authority-Justice2007
Landes Baden-Württemberg, Ministry of Justice2004
Landes Baden-Württemberg, Ministry of Justice2004
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Justice Ministry
Interior Ministry of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Regional Interior MinistryRegional Authority-Interior or Home Affairs
Regional Interior Ministry
Interior Ministry of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Regional Justice Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Regional Interior Ministry
Apprehending authorities Show sources
NameAgencyMinistryObservation Date
PolicePoliceMinistry of National (Homeland) Security2013
Detention Facility Management Show sources
Entity NameEntity TypeObservation Date
Länder ministries of justiceGovernment-local2014
North Rhine-Westfalia Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
North Rhine-Westfalia Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
North Rhine-Westfalia Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Saxony Ministry of Justice and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Saxony Ministry of Justice and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Saxony Ministry of Justice and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Saxony Ministry of Justice and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Hesse Ministry of Justice, Integration and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Hesse Ministry of Justice, Integration and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Lower Saxony Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Baden-Würrtemberg Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Baden-Würrtemberg Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Bavaria Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Bavaria Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Bavaria Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Bavaria Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Bavaria Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Bavaria Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Justice, Cultural and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Justice, Cultural and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Justice, Cultural and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Hesse Ministry of Justice, Integration and European AffairsGovernment-local2014
Baden - Würrtemberg Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Thuringia Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Thuringia Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2014
Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Justice and Gender EqualityGovernment-local2014
Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Justice and Gender EqualityGovernment-local2014
Bavaria Ministry of JusticeGovernment-local2013
PoliceGovernment-local2013
BOSSPrivate For-Profit2013
BOSSPrivate For-Profit2013
Hamburg Ministry of Justice/ Office for corrections, law and equalityGovernment-local2013
BOSSPrivate For-Profit2013
Brandenburg Märkisch-Oderland foreigners office Government-local2013
Federal LanderGovernmental2011
Prison services on behalf of Interior MinistryGovernmental2011
Prison services on behalf of regional justice ministryGovernmental2011
Federal LanderGovernmental2011
Prison services on behalf of Interior MinistryGovernmental2011
Prison services on behalf of regional justice ministryGovernmental2011
Prison services on behalf of regional justice ministryGovernmental2011
Prison services on behalf of regional justice ministryGovernmental2011
Prison services on behalf of regional justice ministryGovernmental2011
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental2009
Zentrale Rückführungsstelle NordbayernGovernmental2009
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental2009
Zentrale Rückführungsstelle NordbayernGovernmental2009
Ministry of Justice of the Land of HamburgGovernmental2007
PoliceGovernmental2007
PoliceGovernmental2007
Ministry of Justice of the Land of HamburgGovernmental2007
PoliceGovernmental2007
Prison services on behalf of the regional interior ministryGovernmental2007
Ministry of the Interior of Mecklenburg-VorpommernGovernment-local2007
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernment-local2007
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental2007
PoliceGovernment-local2007
Gewahrsamseinrichtungen für AusreisepflichtigeGovernment-local2007
Gewahrsamseinrichtungen für AusreisepflichtigeGovernment-local2007
Prison services on behalf of regional justice ministryGovernment-local2007
PoliceGovernmental2007
PoliceGovernment-local2004
State of Baden-WürttembergGovernmental2004
State of Baden-WürttembergGovernmental2004
PoliceGovernmental2004
PoliceGovernment-local2004
PoliceGovernment-local2004
Prison services on behalf of Interior MinistryGovernment-local2004
Federal Lander of HesseGovernmental2001
Federal LanderGovernmental2001
Federal Lander of HesseGovernmental2001
Federal Lander of HesseGovernmental2001
Federal Land of HesseGovernment-local2001
Ministry of Justice of the Land of HamburgGovernmental
Ministry of the Interior of Mecklenburg-VorpommernGovernmental
PoliceGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Zentrale Aufnahmestelle Braunschweig on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Zentrale Aufnahmestelle Braamsche on behalf of regional interiorGovernmental
Ministry of Justice of the Land of North Rhine-WestphaliaGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of the regional interior ministryGovernmental
Gewahrsamseinrichtungen für AusreisepflichtigeGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional justice ministryGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Ministry of Justice of the Land of HamburgGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Ministry of Justice of the Land of HamburgGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of the regional interior ministryGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Ministry of Justice of the Land of HamburgGovernmental
Ministry of Justice of the Land of HamburgGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Prison services on behalf of regional interior ministryGovernmental
Formally designated detention estate? Show sources
Formally designated immigration detention estate?Types of officially designated detention centresObservation Date
YesDedicated immigration detention facilities2017
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
YesYesYes2017
2015
2015
2015
2015
2015
2015
2014
2014
2014

Authorized monitoring institutions Show sources
InstitutionInstitution TypeObservation Date
The German Institute for Human RightsNational Human Rights Institution (or Ombudsperson) (NHRI)2016
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment International or Regional Bodies (IRBs)2014
National Agency for the Prevention of Torture OPCAT National Preventive Mechanism (NPM)2014
Pro AsylNon-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
Yes2016
Does national preventive mechanism (NPM) carry out visits? Show sources
Does NPM carry out visits in practice?Observation Date
Yes2016
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention? Show sources
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention?Observation Date
Yes2016
Do NGOs carry out visits? Show sources
Do NGOs publish reports on immigration detention? Show sources
Do NGOs publish reports on immigration detention?Observation Date
Yes2014

Types of privatisation/outsourcing Show sources
Types of Privatisation/OutsourcingObservation Date
Detention facility security2016
Health services2016
Facility maintenance2016
Public-private partnership2014
Other detention facility or detainee services2014
Social services2014
Detention facility security2013
Detention facility management2013
Detention contractors and other non-state entities Show sources
Name of entityType of entityDetainee transportFood servicesHealth careSocial servicesLaundry servicesLegal counsellingManagementOwner of detention facilityRecreationSecurityTelephone serviceTranslation servicesObservation Date
KötterFor profitYesYes2016
KötterFor profit2014
European HomecareFor profit2014
BOSSFor profit2013
SercoFor profit2009

Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD) Show sources
Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD)Observation Date
1202013

Socio Economic Data Expand all

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD) Show sources
Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)Observation Date
47,8212014
45,0852013
41,5142012
Remittances to the country Show sources
Remittances to the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
15,8022015
12,1432011
Remittances from the country Show sources
Remittances from the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
15,9082010
Unemployment Rate Show sources
Unemployment RateObservation Date
52014
7.72009
Unemployment rate amongst migrants Show sources
Unemployment rate amongst migrantsObservation Date
102013
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD) Show sources
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in USD)Observation Date
12,9392012
14,0932011
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP) Show sources
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)UNDP four-tiered rankingObservation Date
6Very high2014
5Very high2012

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
662007
Immigration Index Score Show sources
Immigration Integration RankingObservation Date
122011
World Bank Rule of Law Index Show sources
Percentile rank among all countries (ranges from 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest) rank)Estimate of governance (ranges from approximately -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong) )Observation Date
92-2.42012
92-0.82011
91-2.12010

Country Links


Additional Resources


Immigration detention in Germany

Germany’s immigration detention system has undergone major changes since a 2014 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union condemning the country’s use of prisons for immigration purposes. Since then, the country’s detention infrastructure has shrunk from more than 20 to seven long-term facilities, even as new laws have broadened the grounds justifying […]

Submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR): Germany

Germany Joint Global Detention Project and Jesuit Refugee Service Germany Submission to the Universal Periodic Review 30th session of the UPR Working Group, May 2018   Submitting organisations The Global Detention Project (GDP) is an independent research centre based in Geneva, which investigates the use of detention as a response to international migration. Its objectives […]

Capitalism and Immigration Control: What Political Economy Reveals about the Growth of Detention Systems: GDP Working Paper #16

Assessments of the political economy of detention point to a key challenge that is common to countries across the globe: how economic insecurities of host population’s translate into xenophobia and ethno-nationalist demands for more deportations, detentions, and walls.

Immigration Detention in Germany

Europe: On Its Borders New Problems

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