July 2010 Newsletter

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    Global Detention Project

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    News & Events

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Global Detention Project Newsletter – July 2010

New GDP Detention Profiles

Lebanon is host to some 500,000 refugees and asylum seekers, including more than 400,000 Palestinians, most of whom are registered with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The country has been a destination or transit state for immigrants and asylum seekers from across the globe, including Sudan, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Bangladesh, the Philippines, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Nepal, Tanzania, and Syria. Lebanese authorities use ordinary prisons to incarcerate both irregular migrants and asylum seekers, who are generally charged with criminal violations because of their immigration status. After completing prison sentences, migrants are held in administrative detention until they can be deported. There is no established maximum limit on the duration of administrative detention. Lebanon is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol.
Located in the south-eastern corner of the European Union (EU), Bulgaria is a transit country for immigrants and asylum seekers heading to Western Europe from the Greater Middle East (Ilareva 2008). The number of migrants crossing into the country, however, is smaller than that of other EU border countries, such as Poland and Hungary. Bulgaria’s detention infrastructure is similarly smaller, although the country’s sole dedicated immigration detention facility has been heavily criticized because of the poor treatment of detainees. This includes a lack of medical care, which was blamed for the 2009 death of a Syrian migrant who had been held in detention for nearly three years.
Located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, Latvia shares borders with four countries—Estonia, Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania. Shortly after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Latvia restored its pre-1922 Constitution, and since joining the European Union in 2004 the country has become a key Euro frontier state. Latvia’s immigration and asylum policies, including measures for detention and expulsion, have been developed to meet EU acquis standards. The country has received substantial financial and technical support from Nordic countries, the EU PHARE programme, and the International Organisation for Migration to strengthen its legal framework and management capacity with respect to the treatment of irregular foreign nationals.
Since independence in 1990, Lithuania has become an important destination for irregular migrants and asylum seekers from the former Soviet republics and Central Asia, receiving considerably higher numbers of asylum seekers compared to the other Baltic countries. Since it became a European Union member in 2004, Lithuania’s eastern frontier has become an external border for the Euro zone. In addition, Lithuania is an immigrant source country and a key country of origin of trafficked peoples. Although Lithuania does not generally detain asylum seekers, irregular migrants are often detained for as long as nine months in conditions that observers qualify as very poor.

Other GDP News
EXPERT MEETING: On 12-13 July 2010, Michael Flynn, lead researcher of the Global Detention Project, participated in an Expert Group Meeting on the International Framework for Action to Implement the Migrant Smuggling Protocol hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria.  Read more.


PODCAST:Immigration Detention and the Aesthetics of Incarceration,” Presentation by the Global Detention Project, Oxford Immigration Detention Workshop, 28 June 2010. For other presentations from the conference, seePodcasts from the University of Oxford.