IRRC No. 904

ICRC policy paper on immigration detention

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has worked on behalf of detained irregular migrants for many years as part of its activities for detainee populations in general, but has only recently started implementing specific programmes for detained migrants in countries of transit and destination. The ICRC visits detained migrants in both criminal and dedicated immigration detention facilities. During these visits, as with all detainees, the ICRC assesses whether detained migrants are treated humanely, held in conditions that preserve their dignity and afforded due process of law. The ICRC also evaluates whether they are able to maintain contact with the outside world, such as with their families and consular authorities, if they wish to do so. As part of its dialogue with the authorities, the ICRC also raises protection issues related to return to ensure that the authorities fulfil their obligations under relevant international law – in particular with respect to the principle of non-refoulement.

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