During the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the IDC was one of several organisations involved in convening a side event on how to enhance the rights of migrants and of those defending their rights.


The event was a join initiative of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), the International Detention Coalition (IDC) and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations.


Panellists included Mr Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Mr Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Ms Laurel Townhead, Representative, Human Rights and Refugees, Quaker United Nations Office; and Ms Pia Oberoi, Advisor on Migration and Human Rights, Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division, OHCHR.


The discussion is very timely as, while the negotiation for the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration continues, the two UN Special Rapporteurs on the Panel have presented to the UN Human Rights Council their thematic reports dedicated to the protection of the human rights of migrants. These reports respectively focus on torture and other ill-treatment in the context of migration and the experience of human rights defenders working in the context of people on the move.


Specifically addressing immigration detention, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture reiterated with concern the findings of his most recent thematic report: that detention has become a standard response to irregular migration and causes a chain of human rights violations and abuses which can amount to torture and ill-treatment.


Watch the side event here.