Human Rights Concerns in Papua New Guinea, Hungary, Sudan, Greece, and Chile – March Newsletter

LATEST PUBLICATIONS

Submissions to the Universal Periodic Review
Ahead of the UPR’s 39th Session, the GDP has submitted information relating to detention practices, asylum processes, and border enforcement measures in Papua New Guinea, Hungary, Sudan, and Greece.

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA: A joint submission with the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (and with assistance provided by APPRN members, the Refugee Council of Australia and Caritas PNG) highlights several on-going areas of concern in Papua New Guinea, which hosted offshore detention operations for Australia, including: gaps in support provided migrants and asylum seekers who remain in the country; the recent detention of asylum seekers at the Bomana Immigration Centre; the use of force by police during detainee transfers; and the potential for renewed pressure to collaborate in offshore detention operations and related questions about responsibility and jurisdiction in such operations. Read the submission here.
  • HUNGARY: Since the closure of Hungary’s notorious “transit zone” detention sites in 2020, the country has implemented a new, highly restrictive asylum procedure requiring all asylum applicants to lodge requests at consulates in neighbouring countries and increased pushbacks at its borders despite condemnation of those operations by the EU court. A joint submission with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee underscores the human rights violations in these operations and points to on-going detention issues such as the detention of persons with special needs, detainees’ limited access to legal assistance, arbitrary detention, and limited monitoring of detention conditions. Read the submission here.
  • SUDAN: The GDP reports how the recent outbreak of violence in the nearby Tigray region of Ethiopia has renewed concerns about Sudan’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. There continue to be reports about asylum seekers not being given access to asylum procedures and being deported back to their countries of origin without consideration of their protection needs. There are also on-going concerns about how EU funding for migration-management projects may be diverted into activities that violate the rights of refugees and the lack of publicly available information concerning where refugees are detained. Read the submission here.
  • GREECE: The detention of newly arriving asylum seekers in closed centres—where conditions have regularly been described as substandard—has become a systematic practice in Greece, and reports indicate that “alternatives to detention” (ATDs) are not considered before implementing detention as a measure of last resort. Moreover, according to the government’s National Migration Strategy 2020-2021, plans are in place to systematically expand Greece’s closed detention centre estate. The strategy includes plans for five closed and controlled facilities on the islands Chios, Kos, Leros, Lesbos, and Samos, and at least six more on the mainland. Read the submission here.

Submission to the Committee on Migrant Workers: CHILE
The submission notes recent amendments to Chile’s Immigration Law, which includes protocols for the expulsion of foreigners but lacks mention of non-refoulement principles. The submission points to challenges faced by Venezuelans in Chile that resulted from COVID-19 border closures and other related measures. The GDP urges the Committee on Migrant Workers to ask Chile: to provide information about the numbers of people pleased in migration-related detention and places of detention; to ensure that detention measures are for the shortest period possible and based on an assessment of necessity and proportionality, and that safeguards are in place to prevent non-refoulement; to avoid deportation measures during the COVID-19 pandemic; and to adopt a regularisation mechanism for irregular migrants as provided by Convention on Migrant Workers. Read the submission here.

NEWS + ACTIVITIES

“Alternatives to Detention” in Asia Pacific
On 17 March, GDP Executive Director Michael Flynn participated in a webinar hosted by the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network’s Immigration Detention Working Group. Focussing on “Alternatives to Detention,” (ATDs) the event examined how ATDs have changed over time and how they are implemented across the Asia-Pacific region; and asked how they can be used and promoted successfully. More information about the APRRN Working Group is available here.

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