Parliamentarians to visit detention centres on International Migrants Day

Thursday, December 17, 2015

On International Migrants Day, 18 December, parliamentarians from a number of European countries will visit detention centres where migrants and asylum seekers are held, to raise awareness of the need for monitoring of the conditions in immigration detention.

The APT has been working with the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) since 2011 to encourage and support parliamentarians to visit immigration detention centres. Visiting places of detention is a unique means to experience the realities of detention and get first-hand information on the treatment of detainees, their conditions and the functioning of the places. Visits are also a way to check that the application of national and international laws and standards.

Together with the Council of Europe we have produced practical guide, Visiting Immigration Detention Centres, to assist parliamentarians in carrying out their visits. We have also participated in several joint visits to detention centres in France, Netherlands and Switzerland, with the PACE Migration Committee.

The visits on 18 December will take place in Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Macedonia and Ukraine. Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, will visit reception centres for migrants in Luxembourg.

Video: Forgotten Places – Parliamentarians visiting immigration detention centres