Immigration Detention in Australia: Turning Arbitrary Detention into a Global Brand

Australia’s migration detention system is uniquely severe, arbitrary, and punitive. It includes a range of extreme and controversial policies–mandatory, indefinite, offshore, fully privatised detention–which are given blanket legal cover, are vigorously defended in the face of growing global opprobrium, and are spreading to countries near and far. […]

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The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention as a Venue for Challenging Arbitrary Immigration Detention: A GDP Briefing with Elina Steinerte

The Global Detention Project (GDP) hosted a 2-hour training and information session with the Chair of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), Elina Steinerte. The event, held on Zoom, was attended by approximately 60 migrant rights advocates representing some 40 civil society organizations from every region of the world. The event was aimed […]

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Immigration Detention in Turkey: Trapped at the Crossroad Between Asia and Europe

With one of the world’s largest migration detention systems, Turkey has long served as Europe’s reluctant refugee gatekeeper. This role has repeatedly been put on display, including in the wake of the refugee “crisis” in 2015, which culminated in the adoption of the controversial EU-Turkey refugee deal; and, more recently, after the 2021 Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, which spurred Turkey to extend border walls and engage in often violent pushbacks of Afghan refugees. […]

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Joint Submission to the Committee against Torture: Lithuania

This submission highlights Lithuania’s treatment of migrants and asylum seekers in response to recent increases in border crossings from Belarus, which has included stranding vulnerable people–including children–in dire conditions in border regions, using ad hoc detention sites, and expanding detention powers. Testimonies provided by detainees include numerous allegations of torture and mistreatment by security officials. […]

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Immigration Detention in Sweden: Increasing Restrictions and Deportations, Growing Civil Society Resistance 

Sweden used to be lauded for its comparatively humane treatment of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. However, since the onset of the “refugee crisis,” the country has introduced a series of restrictive immigration control measures and the domestic political environment has become increasingly hostile. Even as the numbers of refugee applicants have steadily fallen, the […]

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Global Detention Project Annual Report 2017

Throughout 2018, the Global Detention Project’s researchers documented the conditions non-citizens face in detention facilities around the world to ensure that systematic information about the treatment migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers face in detention is made available to advocates and so that governments can be held accountable. […]

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Immigration Detention in Denmark: Where Officials Celebrate the Deprivation of Liberty of “Rejected Asylum Seekers”

Denmark has pursued increasingly restrictive immigration and asylum policies. During the past three years, the country has adopted some 70 immigration-related amendments aimed at intensifying restrictions, dramatically cut back its asylum recognition rate, and called for detaining as many failed refugees as possible. Observers have repeatedly criticised the penitentiary-like conditions of Denmark’s main immigration detention […]

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The Effectiveness of the EU Return Policy at All Costs: The Coercive Use of Administrative Pre-Removal Detention 

In February 2017, the European Commission (EC) adopted a specific Recommendation to guide EU states in the interpretation of the Returns Directive, stressing that detention can be essential in enhancing the effectiveness of the return system. However, despite its administrative label, pre-removal detention as interpreted by the EC contains punitive elements. GDP Researcher Izabella Majcher […]

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Critiquing Zones of Exception: Actor-Oriented Approaches Explaining the Rise of Immigration Detention

Immigration policy has catapulted to the forefront of public debate around the world as governments resort to increasingly restrictive measures to block migrants and refugees. While severe border policies are by no means new, this surge in migration control raises questions about the forces driving national policies. This chapter in the new book Immigration Policy in the Age of Punishment advances an actor-oriented analysis that views detention systems as complex organisations that rely on deeply rooted institutional structures to buttress their existence, multiple sources of financing to grow operations, and support from a broad array of social actors. […]

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Immigration Detention in Luxembourg: Systematic Deprivation of Liberty

Immigration Detention in Luxembourg: Although Luxembourg has a very small immigration detention system, the number of detainees has risen in recent years. Since opening a dedicated detention facility in 2011, observers have noted a general improvement in material conditions. On the other hand, detention appears to be systematically applied as officials regularly conclude that apprehended migrants […]

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