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The Global Detention Project: Mapping the Rise of Migrant Detention in a Globalising World

Annual Call for Projects 2006


This project, supported by the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN), aims at conducting research on the conditions of, and the factors that contribute to, the detention of international "irregular migrants," The transnational movement of people is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century, a fact dramatically underscored in the final report of the UN Global Commission on International Migration, issued in October 2005. According to the report, the number of international migrants has more than doubled in the last 30 years, rising to some 200 million people - or about one in every 35 people on the planet. A large portion of these are "irregular migrants," people who cross international borders without adequate documents or visas. According to the Commission, these numbers will inexorably grow because of the impact of globalisation and growing disparities in development between rich and poor countries.

Along with a host of other transnational issues, migration is forcing countries to look beyond the confines of national borders in search of global responses that more adequately address the scope of these issues. However, growing international cooperation on migration has coincided with an apparent reduction of legal guarantees offered to migrants in host nations. It appears that cooperation has led more and more states, including those bordering the global North, to adopt increasingly strict controls aimed at impeding the movement of people. One form of these controls is the growing use of detention centers and internment camps as instruments for managing migration. From Great Britain to Ukraine, from the United States to Guatemala, from Australia to Malaysia, detention appears to have become a standard response to irregular migration.

Despite these trends, there has been no systematic study assessing the role that detention plays in managing migration. Nor has there been any sustained effort at evaluating the motives that have prompted countries to increase their detention efforts, the overlap between...

The grant provided by the GIAN for this project totals SFr 200,000

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Project Team

Ms Anna Gallagher , Principal Member, International Detention Coalition .

Ms Mariette Grange , Principal Member, International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) .

Dr. Charles Harns , Principal Member, International Organization for Migration (IOM) .

Related Links

> Global Detention Project

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