The IDC presented on alternatives to detention at an Expert Meeting on Detention in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration and Asylum, which was held in Chisinau, Moldova on 26-27 March 2014.

The meeting aimed to offer «an opportunity for the participants to discuss their experiences and possibilities to further limit the use of detention and develop alternatives to detention in a way that is beneficial not only to the governments, but also – and perhaps most important – to the migrant who can be subject to those measures». Over 40 participants, mainly government officials involved in issues of migration management, participated in the workshop from 19 countries. The expert meeting sought to provide a platform for in-depth discussions and sharing of information and experiences between EU Member States and the Eastern Partnership countries.

The IDC presented alongside its members: Pieter Stockmans of Flemish Refugee Action, who shared the Belgian experience of alternatives to detention in Belgium; and Soorej Jose of Uppsala University, who presented on the negative effects of immigration detention.

The IDC highlighted the broad spectrum of alternatives to detention that are available and encouraged states to look beyond traditional restriction-based measures to community based models involving case management, which can be particularly effective in promoting welfare and compliance. There was notable interest in screening and assessment as a key way to ensure that persons are not unnecessarily detained but can live in the community, with freedom of movement and their rights respected, while their migration status is being determined.

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