Ecuador has been widely lauded for adopting the principle of “universal citizenship” in its 2008 Constitution. However, in recent years, the country seems to have backtracked with respect to its reception of migrants and asylum seekers. Although it is one of the most important countries of refuge in Latin America, hosting tens of thousands of refugees from Colombia, Ecuador has recently sought to narrow the definition of refugee and its asylum recognition rate has plummeted. It has also begun imposing visa restrictions for people from many countries in Asia and Africa. This more restrictive migration environment has appeared to parallel stepped up detention and deportation efforts. During 2010-2011, for instance, authorities conducted massive immigration control operations aimed at rounding up people from Colombia, Cuba, and Pakistan. In 2010, 2,662 non-citizens were reportedly placed in immigration detention, compared to 1,338 in 2008. Read report.
OTHER NEW PUBLICATIONS
The Detention of Asylum Seekers in the Mediterranean Region
A Global Detention ProjectBackgrounder
With the recent tragic surge in the number of deaths at sea of asylum seekers and other migrants attempting to reach Europe, enormous public attention is being focused on the treatment of these people across the Mediterranean. An important migration policy employed throughout the region is detention, including widespread deprivation of liberty of asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups. This Global Detention Project background paper is intended to highlight some of the vulnerabilities that people seeking international protection face when they are taken into custody in Mediterranean countries and to underscore the way that European Union-driven policies have impacted the migratory phenomenon in the region. The report focuses on eight key countries in Europe and North Africa. While there are clear differences in treatment from one side of the Mediterranean to the next, looked at collectively, the protection environment across all the countries in the region is bleak. Not surprisingly, the conditions of detention asylum seekers face in North African countries are often horrific and inhumane. However, in Europe, there are also serious shortcomings. In fact, as this backgrounder reports, reception and detention conditions in three of Europe’s main asylum receiving countries (Greece, Italy, and Malta) are so inadequate that many of their EU counterparts have been forced to halt returns to these countries under the Dublin III Regulation. Download here.
STAFF PUBLICATIONS & ACTIVITIES
Yale University: Michael Flynn gave a presentation at the conference “Detention on a Global Scale: Punishment and Beyond,” hosted by the Yale Law School on 9-10 April. Flynn’s presentation was titled “Liberty or Security? Human Rights and the Expanding Landscape of Immigration Detention.” Other presenters on Flynn’s panel included Mary Bosworth, Allegra McLeod, and Zonke Majodina.
Frontex: The GDP has submitted comments in response to the European Ombudsman’s own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2014/MHZ concerning the Frontex (European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union) respect for fundamental rights during joint return operations.
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: The WGAD adopted new guidelines and principles on which a court review of the lawfulness of detention should be based. The WGAD included nearly all the edits and additions suggested by the GDP in 2014 and 2015 with reference to the specific situation of persons in immigration detention. The draft basic principles and guidelines will be presented to the Human Rights Council during its 30th session in September 2015.
MEMBERS & PARTNERS
“EU’s resettlement proposal is a good start but remains woefully inadequate.” Statement from Francois Crepeau, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. 15 May 2015. Read.
“Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the US Immigrant Detention System.” Joint report by the Center for Migration Studies and the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. May 2015.Read.
Immigration Detention: The Migration of a Policy and Its Human Impact. New edited volume, edited by Amy Nether and Stephanie Silverman. More info.