GENEVA (8 April 2015) – The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is busy preparing the final details of an upcoming 2nd Global Roundtable on Alternatives to Detention, to be held from the 20-22 April in Toronto, Canada.


This roundtable is an opportunity for governments to dialogue with each other on the practical side of developing and implementing alternatives to detention. The roundtable will primarily bring together government representatives, including from countries in which UNHCR’s Global Strategy – Beyond Detention 2014-2019 is being rolled-out, but it will also be supported by the participation of non-governmental and international organisations and others. Approximately 45 participants are expected.


The roundtable builds upon the first Global Roundtable on Alternatives to Detention (ATD) of Asylum-Seekers, Refugees, Migrants and Stateless Persons,which was held from 11-12 May 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland and co-organised by UNHCR and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).


The roundtable will be held over three days, and will include on-site visits to ATD programs in Toronto on Day 1, while Days 2 and 3 will involve plenary roundtable discussions, with breakout sessions on selected practical themes including children, and protection at sea.


The principal objectives of the roundtable are to:

  • Exchange good practices and draw lessons on implementing alternatives to detention. A special session will be held on family and/or child appropriate alternatives.
  • Learn about tools to assist in minimising the use of detention, such as detention reviews, vulnerability screening and assessment, and case management and resolution processes.
  • Participate in on-site visits of two alternatives to detention in Toronto