Transparency and independent oversight of places of immigration detention are crucial safeguards of refugee, asylum seeker and migrant rights.  The very fact of visits by monitoring bodies to places of immigration detention play an important preventative role in reducing the risk of human rights violations such as torture, refoulement and inhuman or degrading treatment.  Access and periodic monitoring can also highlight areas where improvement is needed, such as identifying and documenting situations where detention conditions fail to meet minimum international standards.

To help encourage access and regular monitoring of places of immigration detention, the IDC, together with UNHCR and the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) have produced Monitoring places of immigration detention: a practical guide.  This monitoring guide is intended to assist persons  and organisations carrying out monitoring of places of immigration detention and to build and strengthen the capacity of mechanisms to monitor the detention of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, in the framework of a preventive approach.