This report provides an overview of alternatives to immigration detention in Africa. Drawing from examples in 32 African countries, the report highlights some of the measures in place that contribute to the effective and humane governance of migration, while avoiding the use of unnecessary immigration detention.

It complements There are alternatives – a handbook to prevent unnecessary immigration detention and builds on IDC’s 2016 report Alternatives to Immigration Detention in Africa.

In line with international human rights laws and standards, immigration detention should be used only as a last resort in exceptional cases after all other options have been shown to be inadequate. Detention should never be used for children and their families.

These publications include the Community Assessment and Placement model (the CAP model) which is a tool to build systems that ensure detention is only used as a last resort and that community options result in optimal outcomes.

As part of an exciting new series, IDC’s first report on ‘Alternatives to Immigration Detention in Africa’ maps legislation, policies and practices related to immigration detention, including child detention, and alternatives that governments in Egypt, Kenya, Libya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia are pursuing.

African Members of the International Detention Coalition (IDC) undertook combined information gathering with the hope of triggering meaningful advocacy actions at national and regional levels, aiming to reduce, and ultimately end, the use of immigration detention.

This summary outlines the key findings drawn from this combined data, which was submitted to IDC by members, governments and international actors in late 2015. This data was supplemented by desk-based research between July – September 2016.


There are alternatives

The IDC has undertaken a program of research to identify and describe a number of positive alternatives to immigration detention (‘alternatives’) that respect fundamental rights, are less expensive and are equally or more effective than traditional border controls. The IDC has identified over 250 examples of alternatives from 60 countries.

This research, entitled There are alternatives, provides readers with the guidance needed to successfully avoid unnecessary detention and to ensure community options are as effective as possible.

The research was launched during the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva  co-hosted by the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights and the the Permanent Mission of Sweden.