IDC briefing papers are released periodically to provide more insight on a particular topic. If you would like to find out more about a topic, please email [email protected]

Keeping Children Safe

(October 2018) –This briefing paper explores alternative care for unaccompanied children in the context of international migration. Child-sensitive options, rather than immigration detention, can be utilised by states when responding to a child in the context of migration. This paper outlines the principles and foundations that underpin child-sensitive migration systems. It describes the elements needed at different stages of the migration process, including upon first contact with the child, during placement in care, and when approaching a resolution of their migration situation. The paper demonstrates that alternative care systems for unaccompanied children can provide appropriate protection and care for children while also ensuring their migration situation is resolved.

Never in a child’s best interests

(June 2017) – This briefing paper reviews the applicable human rights standards regarding child immigration detention, highlighting expert clarifications that the detention of children in the context of migration is never in their best interests and always a child rights violation. The paper then reviews the ways in which this standard is implemented in legal frameworks by describing laws in over 15 countries that establish safeguards against child immigration detention. It’s also available in Thai language

Does Detention Deter?

(April 2015) – This briefing paper reviews the international research literature on the effectiveness of border control policies – particularly immigration detention – in reducing irregular migration. The brief argues that detention is not only ineffective at reducing irregular migration to desired levels, but also weakens other migration management outcomes such as case resolution, departure for refused cases and integration for approved cases.

Immigration Detention at the UN

(January 2011) – The IDC has been working at the international level, with a particular focus on preventing and limiting the use of, seeking alternatives to, and using the least restrictive forms of, immigration detention. This report provides a brief overview on recent discussions and developments on immigration detention at the UN level.

Key Considerations for Alternatives

(May 2010) – A range of strategies used internationally have been identified for managing refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants in the community while their migration status is resolved, without resorting to immigration detention.

International Trends and Good Practice

(November 2009) – This briefing paper looks at international developments related to the use of detention for migration-related purposes, which maintains the human rights of detainees. It includes trends concerning detention dialogue, policy reform, monitoring, training, alternatives and practice related to vulnerable populations.

The Australian Experience: Case Management as an alternative to detention

(June 2009) – Australia has had significant changes in immigration detention and enforcement policy and practice since 2005. The Australian experience highlights the benefits of community-based alternatives that include comprehensive case management in the community as an innovative and effective alternative to the detention of asylum seekers and migrants.