Immigration Detention in France: Longer, More Widespread, and Harder to Contest
France has one of Europe’s oldest and largest administrative immigration detention regimes, which extends from continental Europe to overseas territories in the Indian Ocean and the Americas. Nearly 47,000 people were placed in detention last year, about half of whom were detained in facilities located overseas. The country has budgeted more than 116 million Euros to maintain and expand its detention system in 2019. Although France has among Europe’s shortest maximum lengths of immigration detention, recent laws double the maximum to 90 days and provide for the re-detention of people shortly after being released. Read the report here.
Immigration Detention in Poland: Systematic Family Detention, Lack of Individual Assessment
Poland has experienced a sharp drop in the numbers of people applying for asylum since 2017. Yet, anti-immigrant rhetoric dominates public discourse, foreigners are viewed as security threats, and pushbacks are common along the border with Belarus. While material conditions in detention centres appear to meet basic standards, Poland rarely considers “alternatives to detention,” systematically detains families with children, does not have adequate mechanisms to identify victims of torture, and requires detainees to pay for their detention. Read the report here.
Physical Fences and Digital Divides Part II – “Why Would You Go?” Case Studies of Social Media Use in North Africa and the Mediterranean “We weren’t even allowed to take telephones with us because the smugglers control you.… We had to hide our phones somewhere because if they saw you had one, they’d take it from you.”
Part II of the GDP’s Special Series on the use of new communications technologies in migration features on-the-ground reporting from important hotspots in the Mediterranean that explores the diverse ways migrants and refugees employ social media. The stories that are recounted in the report challenge current assumptions about the relationship between digital media and migration, including oft-repeated claims that social media can serve as an “awareness-raising” tool to help limit migration ﬂows. Read the report here. (Part I: Exposing the “Crisis” is available here.)
Submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child: Luxembourg
In 2013, following its examination of the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Luxembourg, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recommended that Luxembourg adopt legislation to prevent the detention of unaccompanied children. Today, however, the country’s legislation continues to allow for their detention—as well as the detention of accompanied minors—albeit subject to restrictions. In our latest submission to the CRC, the GDP poses key questions that Luxembourg should be urged to address concerning the detention of children. Read the submission here.
NEWS AND ACTIVITIES
Harm Reduction in Immigration Detention: A Special GDP Report Commissioned by the Norwegian Red Cross On 31 October the Norwegian Red Cross will hold a public launch in Oslo of a new Global Detention Special Report that systematically compares detention centres in five European countries: France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Contact the Norwegian Red Cross for more information about the event. The Special Report will be made available on the GDP website at noon on Wednesday 31 October.
Detention and Restriction of Movement of Asylum Seekers under EU Law: Deterrence, Incapacitation and Surveillance
GDP Researcher Izabella Majcher participated in the CINETS Conference 2018, speaking on the topic of “Detention and Restriction of Movement of Asylum Seekers under EU Law: Deterrence, Incapacitation and Surveillance.” The conference—titled “Mobility and Security in an Era of Globalisation: Crimmigration at the Crossroads?”—was held at Queen Mary, University of London, on 5-6 October. More information is available here.
Migration and Human Rights with OHCHR
On 9 October, the Global Detention Project participated in a meeting organised by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the current draft of the forthcoming UN Global Compact on Migration. Among the issues addressed at the meeting were the new UN Migration Network, non-governmental stakeholder engagement in the network, as well as key concerns and priorities regarding the importance of ensuring that the Compact addresses the human rights or migrants.
Refugees, IDPs, and Forced Migrants: Protection in Law and Practice
On 19 October, the GDP’s Executive Director participated in a roundtable exploring the criminalisation of migration and the detention of migrants as part of a training seminar organized by Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection entitled “Core Training on Refugees, IDPs, and Forced Migrants: Protection in Law and Practice.”More information is available here.