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A Fundamentally Different Approach is Needed

International Detention Coalition

Joint Statement to the European Committee on Legal Co-Operation of the Council of Europe on the codification of European Rules for the Conditions of Administrative Detention of Migrants

On 22 June 2017, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM), together with other 52 organizations of the International Detention Coalition Network, adopted a Joint Statement to the European Committee on Legal Co-Operation of the Council of Europe on the codification of European Rules for the Conditions of Administrative Detention of Migrants. While we welcome the initiative of the Council of Europe to codify international standards on the topic of immigration detention, we wished to express concern on the current draft and, as with the other organizations, share the view that a fundamentally different approach is needed for developing European Rules on the Conditions for the Administrative Detention of Migrants. In fact ‘As migration is not a crime per se, traditional criminal detention regimes, which take into account legitimate public safety and security concerns, are not suited for the administrative detention of migrants.’ Departing from this belief, we hope that the Council of Europe will take due consideration of our concerns as expressed in the Joint Statement, especially those regarding migrants in situations of particular vulnerability and the current provisions on ‘order, discipline and safety’ which very much go in the sense of a ‘prison-like environment’. We equally share the criticisms on the definition of administrative detention included in the draft Rules expressed by the National Preventive Mechanisms of the Council of Europe.

For the text of the 1st Draft codifying instrument on the conditions of administrative detention of migrants see:  http://www.coe.int/en/web/cdcj/activities/administrative-detention-migrants

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