ENNHRI inputs to the first draft of European Immigration Detention Rules

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ENNHRI attended on 31 May and 1 June in Strasbourg a Conference co-organised by the Council of Europe (CoE) and OSCE/ODIHR to discuss the first comprehensive set of rules on the administrative detention of migrants.

Twenty nine National Preventative Mechanisms (NPM) of the CoE member States and experts in monitoring detention places discussed and provided inputs on the first draft of European Immigration Detention Rules. The draft had been prepared by the European Committee on Legal Co-Operation (CDCJ), the CoE intergovernmental body responsible for the standard-setting activities of the Council of Europe in the field of public and private law.

Half of the participating NPMs where National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), and the experts in monitoring detention places included the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT), and the Committee for Prevention of Torture (CPT). GANHRI, UNHCR, and OSCE/ODIHR also participated in the discussion.

The parties to the conference agreed that the development of Consolidated rules in the area of immigration detention is both necessary and feasible, recalling how essential it is that conditions of administrative immigration detention be fundamentally different in purpose and effect from that of criminal or punitive detention.

The fruitful discussion among experts and NPM led to the unanimous adoption of a Joint Statement expressing concern over the scope of application of the rules and the definition of detention. The Joint Statement further called for a formal opportunity to comment on a second draft when it is ready.

Comments on the First Draft European Immigration Detention Rules are welcome until 30 June 2017 and the electronic consultation is available here. ENNHRI encourages all stakeholders to take an active part in this consultation process.