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GCM Commentary: Objective 13: Use immigration detention only as a measure of last resort and work towards alternatives

last modified Nov 13, 2018 08:53 AM

Blog post written by Dr Justine N Stefanelli (British Institute of International and Comparative Law) and forms part of a series of blog posts analysing the final draft (objective by objective) of the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Objective 13 addresses the use of immigration detention and aims to ensure that detention is used only as a last resort when alternative measures are unavailable. Paragraph 29 sets out the key aims of Objective 13, each of which are to be achieved in line with due process and international human rights law.   A number of key points can be made in relation to the commitments in paragraph 29. First, detention must abide by the rule of law. It must have a legal basis, and it must be necessary, proportionate and ordered on an individual basis. These safeguards help to ensure that detention is not arbitrary, and to prevent the automatic detention of whole classes of individuals, such as foreign national offenders or asylum seekers. Second, the protections afforded by Objective 13 apply to all types of immigration detention, whether it be at a state’s borders upon arrival, or within the interior in the context of removal or deportation. Third, there is a strong commitment to the prioritisation of noncustodial alternatives to detention with a view toward using detention only as a last resort.   Several actions are proposed to achieve Objective 13. Though some of them originated in the Zero Draft and have survived the negotiation process, a number of important changes, both positive and negative, have occurred. Some of these will be discussed in the full blog post.

 

Full blog post here

 

Acknowledgements:

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