Temporary work permits; one-off migrant registration amnesties; efficient, standardized screening and assessment – these are just a handful of the praiseworthy modalities that countries around the Middle East and Africa who host large numbers of migrants and refugees are using to ensure the rights of individuals and harness the benefits they can bring to host economies.

This month, the IDC launches its new publication ‘There Are Alternatives, Revised Edition’ in the MENA Region with the support of the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). The DRC are also conducting a workshop on alternatives to detention for NGOs working in the particularly challenging migration context of Libya, with IDC providing technical input.

While refugee and migrant journeys no longer dominate the headlines in Europe, the IDC is proud to continue sharing good practices put in place by numerous governments and NGOs. These processes have been designed by many who remain concerned about those people on the move to and through their countries, in the hope of finding spaces where their rights are guaranteed and it is possible to earn a decent livelihood to feed their families.

We congratulate all those forward-thinking policy makers as well as front line staff and volunteers who daily continue to listen and provide support to people fleeing crisis, trapped in detention centers or without adequate sustenance through the winter- despite the slow-down in media attention.
In the hope that the quality research undertaken to collate ‘There Are Alternatives’ bolsters these efforts, we are excited to bring this collection of good practice examples to the region and further collaborate with those working to end unnecessary migrant detention.

Read the Handbook

With human migration reaching unprecedented levels, many States are struggling to respond to new refugee, asylum-seeker and migrant arrivals.

Current crises highlight the need for alternative approaches that respect fundamental right to liberty, security, and human dignity, while still ensuring that States can responsibly govern their borders.

Over the past five years, the IDC has undertaken a program of research to identify and describe a number of positive alternatives to immigration detention (‘alternatives’) that respect fundamental rights, are less expensive and are equally or more effective than traditional border controls. The IDC has identified over 250 examples of alternatives from 60 countries.

This research, entitled There are alternatives, provides readers with the guidance needed to successfully avoid unnecessary detention and to ensure community options are as effective as possible.