Multistakeholder Pledge: Developing Alternatives to Immigration Detention and Ending Immigration Detention of Asylum-Seeking, Refugee, Stateless and Migrant Children and their Families
The development of rights-based alternatives to immigration detention for asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons and migrants and ending immigration detention of asylum-seeking, refugee, stateless and migrant children and their families.
This pledge aims at encouraging States and other stakeholders to make new concrete steps to implement the commitment contained in the Global Compact on Refugees to support “the development of non-custodial and community-based alternatives to detention, particularly for children (…)” (para. 60).
It aligns with the 2021 High-Level Officials Key Recommendations and Follow-Up Actions, in particular with:
- Recommendation 1: Implement current GRF pledges and develop new ones to address identified gaps and needs
- Recommendation 2: Enhance access to international protection.
- Recommendation 3: Reduce statelessness.
- Recommendation 6: Facilitate more systematic, inclusive, and meaningful refugee participation.
Given that ATD is a thematic area of commonality between the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), when pledging for the GCR, States and stakeholders may submit similar pledges under the Global Compact for Migration in line with Objective 13 (notably para. 29(a)) and vice versa.
Pledges may be designed drawing from any of the following measures to achieve positive impacts for refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless persons and migrants:
- Conduct evidence-based advocacy and mobilize key stakeholders to scale up rights-based protective solutions to end the immigration detention of asylum-seeking, refugee, stateless and migrant children and their families and to promote non-custodial community-based alternatives.
- Pass and implement legislation to limit and restrict the use of immigration detention for adult asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons and migrants to a measure of last resort when unavoidable.
- Pass and implement legislation, in line with international refugee and human rights law, to end immigration detention of asylum-seeking, refugee, stateless and migrant children and their families.
- Reinforce national social and child protection systems to ensure appropriate care arrangements for asylum-seeking, refugee, stateless and migrant children with particular focus on unaccompanied and separated children.
- Facilitate access to free or affordable legal advice and assistance from a qualified and independent lawyer to asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons and migrants at risk of immigration detention.
- Establish Standard Operating Procedures and train front-line staff on rights-respecting screening, assessment and referral processes that refer asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons and migrants to appropriate community-based alternatives to immigration detention.
- Establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to determine responsibilities and provide common guidelines for all relevant government agencies on non-detention of asylum-seeking, refugee, stateless and migrant children and on limiting immigration detention of adults to a measure of last resort only.
- Provide appropriate legal status for, asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons and migrants who might otherwise have been detained for reasons related to their status.
- Provide asylum seekers, refugees, stateless persons and migrants with information on their rights and duties and options to access support in a manner that they understand and ensure access to services to address their needs, including in detention.
- Establish or scale-up case management support for asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons and migrants at risk of immigration detention.
- Provide data disaggregated by age and sex on immigration detention and on alternatives to detention.
- Fund research on effective and rights-respecting alternatives to immigration detention.
- Develop monitoring and evaluation tools to track and assess the implementation of alternatives to immigration detention and identify areas for improvement to be implemented.
- Improve independent monitoring of immigration detention conditions and increase the access of UNHCR, civil society and other relevant actors detention facilities and people in detention.
- Build partnerships with civil society organisations to develop or expand alternatives to immigration detention that are community-based and non-custodial.
- Show leadership in peer learning exchanges on alternatives to immigration detention and promote the dissemination of promising practices.
- Working with people with lived experience to advance Alternatives to immigration detention including in developing partnerships.
- States having pledged under para. 60 of the GCR
Supported by UNHCR and the co-leads of the Workstream of the UN Network on Migration on Alternatives to Immigration Detention (UNICEF and International Detention Coalition).
It is expected that States and other stakeholders, in addition to those included in this pledge, will formulate commitments regarding ending immigration detention of refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant children and the development of alternatives to immigration detention for asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless people and migrants. UNHCR stands ready to support the development and the implementation of such pledges.