Situated at the axis between North and South America and wracked by poverty and conflict, Guatemala is both an important source of migrants and asylum seekers as well as a major transit country. Mexico and the United States have long pressured the country to halt the movement of foreigners across its borders. U.S. immigration authorities have at times provided financial assistance for detaining foreigners. Guatemala has used a range of detention facilities for this purpose, including euphemistically named centros de albergue (“shelters”) as well as dilapidated former hotels and naval bases.
Described by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as “a key transit country for irregular migrant movements,” Indonesia has dozens of immigration detention facilities, many of which have been denounced for their terrible conditions. The growth of Indonesia’s detention capacities has been largely driven by the policies and practices of Australia, with assistance provided through the IOM.
Thailand hosts more than four million migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. Officials have broad discretionary powers to place non-citizens in detention and there is no detention time limit. Severe overcrowding is endemic at detention facilities and conditions are reportedly abysmal, including for the thousands of foreign children who are detained annually.
Belize’s immigration detention practices contrast with the policies of neighbouring countries in key ways. In particular, the country provides criminal sanctions for immigration-related infractions and appears to be one of the only nations in Central America that does not have a dedicated administrative immigration detention facility.
Who Is Responsible for Harm in Immigration Detention? Models of Accountability for Private Corporations By Theodore Baird (Free University of Amsterdam – VU Amsterdam)
This paper argues that private corporations can and should be held responsible for structural injustices that take place in immigration detention regimes in which they operate. It draws on literature from business ethics to evaluate various ethical arguments for assessing corporate responsibility, emphasising models that may lead to the prevention of harm and suffering.
GDP NEWS & ACTIVITIES
Submission for CMW-CRC General Comment
On 29 February the GDP provided a written submission to the Committee on Migrant Workers and the Committee on the Rights of the Child for its Joint General Comment on the Human Rights of Children in the Context of International Migration. The submission can be viewed here.
Conference: Privatization in the International Arena
On 19 February the GDP’s Michael Flynn presented a paper on non-state actor involvement in immigration detention regimes at this conference, which was held at the California Western School of Law in San Diego. More information about the event is available here.
Submissions to the UN Human Rights Committee: Sweden and Costa Rica
On 2 February the GDP provided submissions to the UN Human Rights Committee on Costa Rica and Sweden as part of the Committee’s periodic assessment of the countries’ implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. View Costa Rica submission and the Sweden submission.