The The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has released a press release stating that the conditions of immigration detention in the Bahamas are “inhumane” and urging urgent  provisional measures to be in place.

Overcrowding and inadequate medical attention are the most urgent needs, according to the IACHR.

This announcement comes shortly after the IACHR has a new focus on immigration detention, following the hearing in which IDC and hundreds of co-petitioners highlighted the need for a regional response to the widespread use of immigration detention.

The decision of the IACHR is paradigmatic because the IACHR for the first time, is requesting a State party of the OAS to take action to promote more humane conditions in immigration detention centers.

In the precautionary measures issued to protect and safeguard the rights to life and personal integrity of all migrants detained in the Charmichael Road Immigration Detention Center, the IACHR analyzes and makes visible the substandard human conditions in the Detention Center and its impact on the rights of individuals; also is worthy to mention the IACHR observations in relation to:

  1. a) The States obligation of adopting alternatives to detention, avoiding prolonged detention and using detention as a measure of last resort.
  2. b) The particular situation of children, which in no case should be detained for immigration reasons
  3. c) The obstacles faced by civil organizations to access immigration detention centers and monitoring the detention conditions.

Finally, the IACHR also sets an important precedent by requesting that the State of the Bahamas: to implement the necessary measures to ensure:

  1. a) Implement measures to ensure that legal assistance to detainees is available.
  2. b) Adopt the necessary measures to address the special situation of unaccompanied migrant children, according to international standards and
  3. c) Ensure that civil society and international organizations have access to the detention center for the purpose of monitoring.

Read the full release (English)