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The EU-funded project on the prevention of immigration detention

The EU-funded project on the prevention of immigration detention

11 April 2019

The detention of asylum-seekers and refugees is commonplace in a number of countries and has serious lasting effects on individuals and families. UNHCR is concerned about the use of immigration detention, and particularly the immigration detention of children.

Under the project “Global technical assistance and capacity building programme to prevent the detention of children and to protect children and other asylum-seekers in detention” UNHCR carried out a set of activities to support, strength and promote transparent and independent monitoring of immigration detention facilities and creation of new care arrangements for children and families.

UNHCR liaised and cooperated with stakeholders, decision-makers, civil society actors and international organisations, and implement various activities such as:

  • Awareness-raising actions and advocacy interventions on immigration detention monitoring and alternatives to detention;
  • Monitoring of immigration detention facilities;
  • Targeted technical assistance measures to set up care arrangements for children and families.

UNHCR also developed learning initiatives on the immigration detention of asylum-seekers and refugees. They aim at providing practical tools, knowledge and best practices examples on conducting immigration detention monitoring visits and advocating for the end of immigration detention of asylum-seekers, refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR. The learning initiatives are available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic at

In October, 2018 UNHCR organised the Global Roundtable Reception and Care-Arrangements for Asylum-Seeking Children. It has further advanced thinking and awareness on ways to develop, design and promote reception and care arrangements for children and families within asylum and migration systems without recourse to detention. The roundtable comprised numerous panel discussions over the course of eight sessions where participants benefited from substantive discussions and expert insights into challenges and good practices. More information about the Roundtable


The project was co-funded by the European Union and implemented from November 2016 to February 2019 in Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and North Macedonia with the support of Division of International Protection and Global Learning & Development Centre. It fell under the umbrella of the ‘Global Strategy – Beyond Detention 2014-2019', which aims to support governments to make the detention of asylum-seekers an exceptional rather than routine practice.