Detention is Not the Answer

by Ben Lewis

Asylum Access VLAs urge governments to seek alternatives to the detention of refugees and asylum seekers.

Asylum Access Tanzania has joined refugee rights advocates from around the world in making a Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Mr. François Crépeau, urging alternatives to the detention of irregular migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Prepared in advance of the Special Rapporteur’s thematic Human Rights Council session on immigration detention scheduled for June 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland, the AATZ submission urges the Tanzanian government to consider alternatives to detention.  Drawing upon the policy work of partner organization the International Detention Coalition, the submission recommends, among other measures:

  • A presumption against the detention of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants;
  • Vulnerable individuals should not be placed in detention;
  • Children should not be placed in detention for migration-related purposes nor separated from their caregivers;
  • Asylum seekers should not be detained or penalized for entering a country irregularly or without proper documentation;
  • Asylum seekers should not be detained with criminals;
  • Asylum seekers must have the opportunity to seek asylum and have access to asylum procedures;
  • Governments should implement alternatives to detention that ensure the protection of the rights, dignity and wellbeing of individuals;
  • No one should be subject to indefinite detention;
  • No one should be subject to arbitrary detention;
  • Detention conditions must comply with basic human rights standards;
  • Governments should respect the right to refugee freedom of movement and seek alternatives to encampment-based refugee policies;

Click HERE to view the full submission.


The postings on this site express the personal opinions of VLAs and guest bloggers.  They do not necessarily represent Asylum Access’ positions, strategies, or opinions.

To learn more about the work of Asylum Access, visit the Asylum Access webpage.


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