Immigration Detention in Portugal: Resettling Refugees, Detaining Asylum Seekers
Unlike most EU states, Portugal has welcomed the arrival of refugees—even after the onset of the “refugee crisis” in 2015—and has announced ambitious resettlement schemes. On the other hand, Portugal’s detention policies have been the subject of repeated criticism. Asylum seekers lodging applications at ports of entry are systematically detained; children can be placed in detention facilities, a practice that appears to be on the uptick; and there are no regulations on conditions of detention.
Immigration Detention in Malta: “Betraying” European Values?
Malta’s heavy-handed response to irregular maritime arrivals—including refusing to allow rescue ships to dock and assisting Libyan authorities in intercepting asylum boats—has placed the country at the centre of a bitter EU-wide debate concerning search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. The country’s restrictive approach is also reflected in its detention policies. Despite having made important changes to its laws, including eliminating mandatory detention provisions, Malta continues to have controversial policies on summary detention and detention without specified time limits.
RLI 4th Annual Conference: Rethinking the “Regional” in Refugee Law and Policy
On 3-5 June, GDP Researcher Izabella Majcher participated in the 4th Annual Conference of the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI), whose theme this year was “Rethinking the ‘Regional’ in Refugee Law and Policy.” Majcher presented her work on the EU Returns Directive and chaired a panel discussion titled “National Sovereignty or Regional Protection? How the Perceived Loss of Control Stands in the Way of a Functioning European Protection System.” Read more about the conference.
The Externalisation of Refugee Policies in Australia and Europe: The Need for a Comparative Interdisciplinary Approach
As states increasingly seek external solutions to migratory pressures, it is clear that serious comparative and interdisciplinary research is needed. On 12 -13 June, the GDP’s Michael Flynn attended a scholars-advocacy meeting and conference organised by CONREP (the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies) in Prato, Italy, exploring research and policy in the area. Flynn’s presentation, “Crisis and Opportunity? On the Externalisation of Immigration Detention,” explored some unexpected opportunities in promoting the rights of detained migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees—including notably through the work of UN human rights mechanisms—that are a direct result of externalisation efforts. More information is available here.
Privatising Migration: A Solution for the European Union?
On 17-18 June, Michael Flynn participated in an expert workshop hosted by theUniversity of Nottingham’s Human Rights Law Centre and the European Policy Centre, examining the human impact of privatised migration control operations and the legal frameworks that can be used to hold private companies and contracting states accountable. His presentation, “The Privatisation of Immigration Detention: A View to the Global South,” examined the proliferation of private actors involved in immigration detention systems and the forces driving this expansion. More information is available here.