Governments around the world are increasingly using detention as a migration management tool, with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants detained for prolonged periods. However, there are humane and cost effective mechanisms that prevent unnecessary and damaging detention and that ensure detention is only ever used as a last resort. The IDC has identified good practices from around the world and compiled them in a handbook, while also introducing a new model: CAP, the Community Assessment and Placement model.The IDC launched CAP at the UN level in Geneva on May 13th 2011. Launches in all regions will follow later this year.
Researching alternatives to detention
The handbook is based on two years of research in partnership with La Trobe University, Australia. The five-step Community Assessment and Placement model outlines mechanisms and examples from around the world that prevent unnecessary detention, enforce immigration law through mechanisms that do not rely heavily on detention, and effectively support individuals in the community.
Comparing alternatives and detention
Detention, even for short periods, harms and undermines an individual’s right to liberty. Detention and removal is more expensive than community-based alternatives. Detention is not effective in deterring asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants. It is counterproductive in achieving compliance with final decisions. But there are alternatives. More in 10 things we found about immigration detention.
A new model for community placement
CAP combines mechanisms to prevent unnecessary detention with strategies for effective and humane case resolution in the community. CAP ensures governments have a clear understanding of the diversity within the population of asylum seekers and irregular migrants in order to make informed decisions on placement, support and management.
The CAP model reduces the financial and human cost of immigration detention and avoids wrongful and unnecessary detention. It maximises management and case resolution in the community.
Click on the steps above to view or to go to the corresponding chapter in the handbook. Note that in most cases, the first three steps will be sufficient.
Implementing the CAP model
Governments in partnership with civil society can work in five stages on implementing CAP. Find out more in the introduction to the handbook for policy makers. The IDC can provide support and make connections on a national, regional and international level.
Get the handbook on CAP
The policies described in this handbook, as outlined in the CAP model, are currently being implemented in a range of countries to enforce immigration law through mechanisms that do not rely heavily on detention. View or download the handbook on preventing unnecessary immigration detention. View or download the handbook in Spanish View or download the handbook in Mandarin
Quick browse through the 5 steps
View the international media papers about the handbook
Connect to regional launches of the CAP model
Follow the blog on alternatives to detention
Put a CAP on immigration detention – NGO resources
Stay up to date about CAP
Ask a question about CAP