Prison for Profit

  • Authored by:

    Global Detention Project

  • Type of publication:

    News & Events

  • Download document:

On 7 March, GDP Director Michael Flynn joined Abdul Aziz Muhamat (2019 Martin Ennals Prize Winner), Ilse Van Velzen (filmmaker), Ruth Hopkins (investigative journalist), Agnès Callamard (UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Director of “Freedom of Expression”), and journalist Luc Hermann to discuss the privatisation of prisons and administrative detention in Switzerland and beyond, as part of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights 2020. 

Discussing the growing outsourcing of detention to private companies, the panel considered what is left of detainees’ rights when prison becomes an object of profit. “Privatisation allows, not only companies themselves, but states to escape accountability for the treatment of people,” explained Flynn. “Privatisation is part of a larger phenomena which is that wealthy countries want to stop being accountable for the treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers and refugees, and they want to push out those controls. The term we use is ‘externalisation.'”

The event was live-streamed, and is available to watch on YouTube. For more information, visit the FIFDH 2020 website.