In UNHCR’s view, any decision to restrict an asylum-seekers liberty must respect the right to seek asylum and the right to be free from arbitrary restrictions on liberty. In order to not be arbitrary, any restriction must be based on an individualized determination that the restriction is necessary to meet a lawful purpose, reasonable and proportionate to any flight risk or danger to the community. Appropriate screening or assessment tools can guide decision-makers in this regard, and should take into account the special circumstances or needs of particular categories of asylum seekers.

To learn more about UNHCR’s position on detention of asylum-seekers, please visit the following websites: