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20 Jun 2018 description

From the President and Executive Director

18 Jun 2018 description

Although Canada has experienced increasing immigration pressures, including receiving in 2017 the highest number of asylum claims in its history, the country has not witnessed the same acrimonious public debate over immigration seen elsewhere. It has adopted important reforms, including the introduction of a National Immigration Detention Framework aimed at improving detention conditions and reducing the use of prisons for immigration reasons.

24 May 2018 description

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 centre as well as inadequate efforts to identify victims of torture, who can be subject to detention.


22 May 2018 description

A migrant essential or a criminal marketplace? Since the “refugee crisis” exploded across the international media and political landscapes, the role of social media has been repeatedly dissected, argued over, and—more often than not—misunderstood. Although officials and politicians often present new digital platforms as security threats that enable traffickers and illicit enterprises, these technologies also have played a critically important role in aiding refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in need.

26 Apr 2018 description


• Grounds for detention in immigration law appear to be formulated in a nonexhaustive way, which is inconsistent with the principle of lawfulness and the requirement of legal certainty;

• The law provides an expansive list of situations that can lead to a risk of absconding determination, including irregular entry or stay;

• The broad basis for finding a risk of absconding leads to detention being applied systematically rather exceptionally, thus “less coercive measures” are rarely used;

23 Feb 2018 description

While asylum applications are decreasing in Norway, the number of deportations is rising. Since 2012, when amendments to the Immigration Act were introduced extending the list of grounds for detention, detention has increasingly been used in order to make return policies more efficient. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of people placed in detention nearly doubled. Norway also continues to operate its sole detention centre in a militarised fashion.

26 Jan 2018 description

As the main European destination for asylum seekers and undocumented migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean by boat, Italy confronts considerable migration challenges. It has responded by ramping up its domestic detention system, implementing the controversial “hotspot” approach to process maritime arrivals, boosting interdiction efforts, and adopting new legal measures that restrict avenues for asylum. The country has also been instrumental in supporting European Union programmes equipping and training the Libyan coastguard to intercept trafficking boats.

24 Jan 2018 description

Greece is an important entry point to the European Union (EU) for migrants and asylum seekers. Since 2008, when Spain and Italy began effectively blocking routes into their countries, the numbers of arrivals in Greece have increased substantially.1 With support—and pressure—from its EU partners, Greece has responded to this situation by adopting a passel of controversial immigration control measures, including ramping up its detention operations, leading to a growing human rights crisis in Greece and Europe.

31 May 2017 description

Austria has sharply increased the number of people it places in immigration detention after years of declining detainee populations. While it continues the controversial practice of placing immigration detainees in “Police Detention Centres,” the country opened a new dedicated immigration detention centre in 2014, which is partly operated by the controversial multinational security company G4S. The country has also announced plans to significantly boost removals, focusing mainly on people from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

31 Jan 2017 description

Despite having only a very small number of unauthorized entries, Latvia has described the situation at its borders with Russia and Belarus as “alarming.” Its law provides for an extended period of detention without court order, allows for the detention of children over the age of 14, and lacks provisions ensuring that the detention of asylum seekers is used only as a last resort.