Harm Reduction in Immigration Detention
It seems to be an inexorable quality of immigration detention that it causes the individual to experience pain or injury. From a human rights perspective, is it possible to talk about “best practices”? This GDP Special Report, commissioned by the Norwegian Red Cross, systematically compares conditions and operations at detention centres in several European countries to identify practices that may be used to develop “harm reducing” strategies in detention. After the recent launch of the report in Oslo, the Norwegian Red Crossissued a statementurging authorities to reform the country’s immigration detention system.
Joint Submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Qatar
Foreigners account for nearly 90 percent of Qatar’s 2.2 million population, and thousands—including pregnant women and their children—have been detained in recent years, sometimes for periods lasting more than a year and in conditions that the U.S. State Department has reported do not meet international standards. In this submission, the GDP and Migrant-Rights.org identify concerns regarding the provision of safeguards for detainees, access to legal assistance and remedies, and inadequate information about basic detention statistics. Migrant-Rights.org attended the CERD session in Geneva in November toaddress the concerns raised in the submission.
NGO Briefing on Social Media, Human Rights, and Migration
On 15 November, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) and the GDP held a briefing at Quaker Houseon the role that social media and other new digital technologies play in migration journeys, with a special emphasis on their use in the context of detention and migration control in North Africa and the Mediterranean. The event served as a public launch of the GDP’s new special series “Physical Fences and Digital Divides” and included a discussion by investigative journalist Tom Rollins on the research behind the series, including his on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Sicily exploring the diverse ways that migrants and asylum seekers use social media.
Commentary on the Global Compact’s Objective 21: Returns, Readmission, Reintegration
In December, UN Member States will meet in Morocco to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. As part of a Refugee Law Initiative blog series assessing the final draft of the GCM, GDP Researcher Izabella Majcher examines the Compact’s Objective 21, concerning cooperation in facilitating safe and dignified return and readmission, as well as sustainable reintegration. Read the full article here.
Infectious Disease: Stigmatization of Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants
The GDP’s Michael Flynn was an invited participant at a workshop hosted by the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at the Geneva Press Club entitled “Infectious Disease: Stigmatization of Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants.” The event, which took place on 27 November, explored the impact of stigma on the opportunities and protections offered to migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and identified areas of policy development, with a special emphasis on international organisations. The workshop is part of the Leir Institute’s programme on “Migration Crisis and State Fragility.”
Workshop: MSF Work in Detention Settings
On 22 November, Researcher Izabella Majcher participated in a workshop exploring Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) role in detention settings, which took place in Rome. Majcher’s presentation examined the international human rights framework governing immigration detention, and highlighted instances of these standards being violated.