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Detention & Deportation Issue

Detention is used by many states in dealing with different categories of migrants, including refugees and stateless people, migrants who are undocumented or in an irregular situation, asylum seekers awaiting the outcome of their asylum application and failed asylum seekers awaiting removal.

There are increasingly widespread claims that detention and removal are not only damaging to the individuals concerned, abusive and possibly illegal but that they are more expensive than community-based alternatives; that detention is not effective in deterring asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants; that it is counterproductive in achieving compliance with final decisions on asylum; and that there are humane, reliable and cost-effective alternatives to detention and to deportation. Yet some states are even intensifying their detention and deportation practices.

This issue of FMR will provide a forum for practitioners, advocates, policymakers and researchers to share experience, debate perspectives and offer recommendations. In particular, the FMR Editors are looking for practice-oriented submissions, reflecting a diverse range of experience and opinions, which address questions such as the following:

  • Under what circumstances is detention legally permissible and with what consequences?
  •  What are the impacts of detention on children and other particularly vulnerable people?
  • What are the practical and political reasons for restricting the freedom of movement of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants, and what are the human rights issues at stake?
  • What are the experiences in states developing alternatives to detention in these circumstances? What civil society-led initiatives are there? What pilots have there been? How can they be promoted?
  • What evidence is there of the effectiveness of alternatives to detention in meeting the needs and aims of states and the wellbeing and dignity of individuals? What prevents governments from seeking or implementing alternatives?
  • What examples exist of alternatives to detention in transit contexts?
  • Could the processing of asylum seekers externally bring an improvement over current practices of detention and deportation?
  • What factors are necessary for the success of alternatives to detention?
  • What resources are available to support states and civil society in advocating against detention or for alternatives?
  • If detention as a policy continues, what scope is there for improving the rights of detainees, the conditions of detention and the monitoring of detention facilities?
  • What is the political and/or legal relationship between detention and deportation and various statuses such as temporary or exceptional right to stay?
  • What mechanisms and processes are in place to monitor the fate of deportees after their deportation? Can the evidence from such monitoring be used to change states’ deportation practices?

We are particularly keen to reflect the experiences and knowledge of communities and individuals directly affected by detention and/or deportation. If you are thinking of writing for FMR, please consult our Guide for authors at www.fmreview.org/you/writing-fmr

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