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

On 2-3 October 2010, the Global Detention Project (GDP) held a workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, on migration-related detention that included representatives from organizations in 12 countries in Europe and neighbouring regions, as well as several international migration scholars and advocates. The workshop, which was jointly organized with the International Detention Coalition (IDC), an umbrella group whose membership includes nearly 200 immigrant and human rights organizations in some 50 countries,1 had several goals: (1) to share experiences working on detention issues in the border areas of Europe and assess factors shaping detention practices in these regions; (2) to encourage the development of a common framework for documenting operations at detention centres; and (3) to build working relations between local organisations and the GDP and IDC. The workshop represented a first-of-its-kind gathering of advocacy groups, immigration researchers, and legal specialists. This report highlights key aspects of the workshop, including observations from participants on the GDP’s efforts to develop standards for documenting detention situations, the impact of external forces on detention practices, and key national trends and developments.