Spain Detention Profile As a key EU border country, Spain has played an important role confronting migratory flows into the region. It has worked with Frontex to interdict smuggling vessels off the coast of West Africa, collaborated with Morocco to shore up border controls, and paid for a detention centre in Mauritania. Since the early 1990s, the country has also boosted its internal detention estate, the operations of which have come under intense scrutiny because of the legal uncertainty confronting detainees and the derelict state of many facilities. Although the country has a reputation for being more welcoming of migrants than many of its European neighbours, Spain’s severe economic crisis has led to growing xenophobia. After a recent visit to the country, the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism said: “The economic crisis should not become the reason for rolling back progress in the fight against racism and xenophobia. There is already an on-going dynamic that the government should seriously take into consideration in order to avoid a deterioration of the situation with regard to racism.” Read profile here.
Japan Detention Profile Although its foreign-born population is very small compared to that of other immigration destination countries, Japan has struggled to overcome widespread public anxieties about foreigners and develop ways to meet migrant labour needs. One strategy has been to reduce non-nationals in irregular situations while accelerating immigration of skilled workers. An important tool used to implement this policy has been mandatory detention of over-stayers and other unauthorized migrants. Many of the country’s detention practices—including indefinite detention, lack of transparency regarding detention at ports of entry, and the detention of asylum seekers—have been repeatedly criticized by the international community as well as national civil society. Read profile here.
Committee on Migrant Workers: On 22 April 2013, the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families will hold in Geneva a “General Discussion” on the role of migration statistics for treaty reporting and migration policies. The Global Detention Project will present a briefing at the event titled “Migration Statistics through the Lens of Detention,” which will highlight challenges to developing statistical measures on immigration-related detention. A tentative event schedule is available here.
Initiative on Transparency: In mid-March, Access Info Europe and the Global Detention Project launched a joint campaign aimed at improving transparency of immigration detention practices. The project entails using freedom of information laws to solicit specific information about detention practices from 33 key detaining countries. For more information, see this press release.
GDP Consultancy Announcement: The Global Detention Project is seeking an experienced researcher to assist us in producing a report on detention practices in Arab Gulf states. The deadline for applications has been extended to 1 May 2013. For more information, see the official announcement here.