IMG_2909GENEVA (2 July 2015) – During the second day of the UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs the IDC hosted a thematic side event on: ‘Community-based support and care: providing alternatives to the detention of refugee and asylum seekers’. This side event provided a platform for community-based organisations to discuss the myriad ways that they are providing solutions for refugees and asylum seekers in the form of non-custodial, community-based ATD.

During the side event, UNHCR stressed key findings from their global ATD research, particularly the fact that there are a variety of mechanisms currently in use that prevent unnecessary detention and that can effectively manage populations in the community without the need for detention. This is in line with the findings of IDC’s own global ATD research and the experience of IDC members worldwide.  Speaking during the side event, IDC Advocacy Coordinator, Ben Lewis, stated:


Alternatives to detention are more effective: in particular when they are based on engagement rather than enforcement.


In total, the side event was attended by more than 5o participants interested in learning more about community-based case management, support, and care as a viable alternative to detention.


We would like to thank all those who joined this side event, and especially the speakers and moderators, including:

  • Ariel Riva, UNHCR Legal Officer, Division of International Protection;
  • Jamila Hammami, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP);
  • Ben Lewis, International Detention Coalition (IDC);
  • Nathalie Lummert, US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); and
  • Eiri Ohtani, The Detention Forum


For more information on this event, contact [email protected]