Home > Shut down holding centers for migrants in Europe

Shut down holding centers for migrants in Europe

by Open-Publishing - Thursday 8 May 2008

Demos-Actions Prison The "without" - Migrants Europe European Left


please sign the petition here:

These days, immigration is one of the main issues on the European Union’s agenda. Currently, the European Parliament is debating a proposal for a directive establishing "Common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegal staying third-country nationals".

The proposed directive is applicable to all third-country nationals, illegally staying in one of the Member States, and does not take into account the reasons for their irregular status. From the content of the proposal, it is clear that the Commission is taking a repressive approach to the regulation of the "phenomenon of migration" - concentrating on ’the fight against illegal immigration’.

The proposal of the Commission includes many objectionable points. In particular, we would like to highlight the institutionalisation of administrative detention in temporary holding centres. With this proposition, such detention would become extendible to a maximum of six months,

The conditions in migrant holding centres are very similar, sometimes even worse, than those in prisons. Following visits to holding centres, NGOs, international agencies, parliamentary delegations and journalists have denounced the iniquity, inhumanity and degradation of these places, where human rights and fundamental freedoms are often violated and violence used against migrants.

Administrative detention is legally absurd, it provides criminal sanctions (detention) for administrative offences, such as illegal entry to national territory or the simple expiration of visas and stay permits.

Since "temporary administrative detention" is extendible to six months - it cannot be defined as "temporary" any longer. This instrument is not able to keep illegal migration in check and it is also ineffective in the identification of migrants.

Holding centres are often murkily-run structures, with human rights and migrants’ organisations often denied entry. The directive proposes that visits shall be authorised by the Member States.

In the twenty-five Member States, there are 174 holding centres, while more have been built in candidate or neighbouring countries.

With a view to the parliamentary discussion, we would like to lead - together with the organisations working on this issue - a European campaign for the shutting down of all migrant holding centres located in Europe.

To build the campaign together or simply join (either organisations or individuals), please fill out the details below and press send.

The signatures collected on this website will be conveyed to EU governments, the European Commission and the European Parliament with a view to showing that individuals and civil society are sending a strong signal demanding the closure of temporary holding centres throughout Europe.

Your signature will be added to the list of signatories in the View current signatories page on this website. Please note that your email address will not feature on this page, nor will it be distributed or circulated in any way.