NEWSLETTER: Ensuring that Local Detention Conditions Receive Global Attention

Welcome to the Global Detention Project’s roundup of current research, publications, and events. 

Latest Publications & Impact

Botswana: Joint Submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

In a joint submission with our South Africa-based partner, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), the GDP submitted information to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) addressing issues related to immigration detention in Botswana. Amongst various recommendations, the GDP and LHR urged CERD to call on Botswana to ensure that child migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are not detained; to end the practice of arbitrary detention; and to reform national legislation that is discriminatory in content, language, and application. These points were subsequently re-emphasised by LHR during a meeting with the CERD rapporteur and its team on Botswana.  Read the full submission here.  

Global Immigration Detention Observatory: Bringing International Attention to Detention Issues in the Gulf and South Asia 

As part of the GDP’s efforts to ensure that local detention conditions receive global detention, in September the GDP welcomed representatives from Gulf-based and India-based Migration and Asylum Project to Geneva. Their visit, part of their collaboration with the GDP’s “Global Immigration Detention Observatory” project, was organised to facilitate interaction with key human rights mechanisms and experts so that they could bring international attention to detention-related concerns in their respective regions. Meeting with key bodies such as the UN Committee on Migrant Workers, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and UNHCR, both partners raised key issues relating to the treatment of migrants and refugees in their respective countries and the increased use of immigration detention as a tool of migration management. Read more about their visit here.

News & Activities

Transparency Initiative: Freedom of Information Requests Sent to Türkiye

The GDP’s partner in Turkey—the International Refugee Rights Association (IRRA)—has submitted three freedom of information (FOI) requests to Türkiye’s Presidency of Migration Management regarding the country’s immigration detention practices. The access to information requests were issued as part of IRRA’s participation in the Global Detention Project’s “Global Immigration Detention Observatory” project, which seeks to build empirical data and information about immigration detention systems around the world. As of November 2022, the GDP and IRRA had not received a response. FOIAs have also been sent to government agencies in the UAE by, but no response has yet been received. 

Latest on the Immigration Detention Monitor

In our recent updates to the Immigration Detention Monitor, we have highlighted issues including arbitrary detention and forced deportations in southern Egypt, the “catastrophic overcrowding” and “grotesque treatment” at the UK’s Manston Processing Centre, tensions at the border between Slovakia and Czechia, Israel’s treatment of Russian and Ukrainian refugees, and arbitrary detention in Latvia. Read the blog here. 

In Case You Missed It

GDP Fundraising Appeal

The GDP has launched its first-ever individual-giving fundraising campaign. For more than a decade, our small but dedicated team has relentlessly investigated the treatment of immigration detainees, documenting when, where, and in what conditions they are held. Donations will support our efforts to end arbitrary and indefinite migration-related detention; ensure that children and other at-risk migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees are never detained; expose harmful detention practices; demand justice for people who have been unjustly detained; and promote the respect and dignity of all non-citizens. Donate now. 

WHO: World Report on the Health of Refugees and Migrants

The World Health Organisation’s first ever report on refugee and migrant health, launched in July, brings together key evidence about the multitude of health challenges faced by refugees and migrants. Key to health considerations are the various impacts of immigration detention, with many cases of deaths, suicides, and cases of self-harm attributed to a failure to provide adequate health care and to poor detention conditions. The report’s chapter on immigration detention (pp. 66-68), which was drafted by the GDP’s Executive Director, explores this deeply concerning trend and highlights the various ways in which detention impacts health outcomes. Read more.

GDP On the Record

Media and Press Releases 

“Latvia: Return Home or Never Leave the Woods,” Amnesty International, October 2022. 

“Racial Discrimination and Anti-Blackness in the Middle East and North Africa,” Arab Barometer, October 2022. 

“Immigration Detention and De Facto Detention – What Does the Law Say?” PICUM, October 2022. 

“Migration in Europe and the Problems of Undercriminalisation,” EU Law Analysis, October 2022. 

“AYS News Digest 10/10/22: Serbian Interior Minister Calls Migrants ‘Scum’ After Makeshift Camp Raids,” Are You Syrious? October 2022. 


“Carceral Islands: The Rise of The Danish Deportation Archipelago,” S. Corry, Institute of Race Relations, 62(2), October 202. 

“War, Displacement, and Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Findings From an Evidence-Gathering Roundtable in Response to the War in Ukraine,” E. Cockbain, Journal of Human Trafficking, October 2022. 

“Reasons for the Activation of the Temporary Protection Directive in 2022: A Tale of Double Standards,” ASILE Project, October 2022. 

“Migrating Through the Corridor of Death: The Making of a Complex Humanitarian Crisis,” P. Solano et al, Journal on Migration and Human Security, September 2022. 

“Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda,” G. Goodwin-Gill, International Legal Materials, September 2022. 

“Between Exploitation and Repression: The Immigration Industrial Complex and Militarized Migration Management,” D. Feldman, in: Marxism and Migration, G. Ritchie et al (eds), Springer, 2022.

“Reassessing the Camp/Prison Dichotomy: New Directions in Geographic Research on Confinement,” E. Asoni, Progress in Human Geography, September 2022. 

“War, Displacement, and Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Findings From an Evidence-Gathering Roundtable in Response to the War in Ukraine,” E. Cockbain and A. Sidebottom, Journal of Human Trafficking, October 2022.