The worldwide health, economic, social and racial justice crises of 2020 drastically shifted the advocacy landscape at national, regional and global levels. This moment called on us to come together and strengthen our collaborative approach, so that we can support each other to move boldly towards a world where immigration detention no longer exists, and people who migrate live with rights and dignity. In February 2021, IDC held two cross-regional webinars for selected members and partners to create space to collectively take stock, reflect, and envision the future of ATD post-2020. IDC was thrilled to be joined by 75 participants from the following 32 countries:

Australia | Belgium | Bulgaria | Canada | Egypt | France | Greece | Guatemala | Guinea | Honduras | Hong Kong | Indonesia | Italy | Japan | Kenya | Libya | Malawi | Malaysia | Mexico | New Zealand | Norway | Poland | Romania | South Africa | Spain | Thailand | Trinidad & Tobago | Turkey | Uganda | United Kingdom | United States

IDC would like to give special thanks to our panelists who shared critical insights into their experiences advocating for ATD throughout 2020, as well as their visions for a future without immigration detention:


During 3 intensive breakout group sessions on specific topics, the following common and key themes and approaches emerged, which will guide IDC and our work alongside our members and partners:


Human Rights ATD advocacy must center international human rights, as well as be adaptable to tailored messaging at national levels

Multi-Level Connectivity Prioritise advocacy collaboration across national, regional & global levels to maximise change on the ground

Global Partners Ensure strong partnerships with UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM & other UN entities to promote global accountability & engagement

Strategic Allies Engage related sectors & initiatives, such as healthcare, criminal justice, child welfare, the Sustainable Development Goals, etc

Documentation Document civil society collaboration & advocacy approaches, such as coalition building, campaigning, community organising, strategic litigation, ATD pilots, UN working groups, GCM implementation, UPR, and other global or regional review processes


ATD Definition Reclaim the ATD term & definition to prevent it from being co-opted or used to represent enforcement-based ATD

Government Peer-Learning Identify promising & challenging elements of ATD programmes, share successes as well as strategise & troubleshoot barriers to ATD implementation

Gather Evidence Identify & document existing & promising ATD practices to support civil society & governments to institutionalise & scale with robust evidence

Cross-Sector Parallels Identify potential collaborations with rights-based, community-based & engagement-based programmes in other sectors, such as healthcare, housing, criminal justice

M&E Standards Develop new standards & metrics for monitoring & evaluating ATD programmes centered on rights-based standards & human rights principles


Grassroots Inclusion Center grassroots leadership through flexible structures, spaces & capacity building that facilitates meaningful engagement & community-led decision-making

Civil Society Peer-Learning Prioritise the development of collective global spaces for civil society to exchange, strategise, collaborate & act in solidarity with one another

Strategy Coordination Collaboration includes diverse approaches, tactics & contributions, as well as understanding the value of different contributing elements within the larger strategy

Influence the Public Map the political landscape & develop accessible language, messages & arguments that will impact public perception & promote broader cultural & mindset change

Ethical Storytelling People are more than stories. Trauma is not for consumption. Storytelling must center the leadership, resilience, strength & power of the storytellers &
their communities.


“Our goal needs to be ambitious & clear: Pursue rights-based ATD as part of a systems-change strategy to ultimately work towards a world where immigration detention no longer exists.”

Carolina Gottardo, IDC Executive Director