detention

Hidden Away: Policies and Politics of Immigration Detention in Canada

This article appeared on the blog BORDER CRIMINOLOGIES: Foreigners in a Carceral Age (July'14). Click here to read the full piece, with the links >> Available at: http://bordercriminologies.law.ox.ac.uk/hidden-away-canada

Serious questions have been raised about immigration detention practices in Canada and the violations of human rights occurring within the system. Highly secretive, with little in the way of public accountability, the immigration detention system has recently been prised open a little with the release of a report by the advocacy group End Immigration Detention Network (EIDN). This post examines some of the serious problems associated with, and concerns raised over, detention practices in Canada in light of (and beyond) the EIDN report.

protestposterThe Canadian state is one of a few liberal democracies in highly industrialized economies to use regular prisons to hold non-citizens in administrative detention despite recognized international human rights norms against the use of criminal facilities for functions related to immigration detention. As in the UK and Australia, there is no maximum period for which people can be detained. In 2011, a report prepared by University of Ottawa professor Delphine Nakache for the UN’s Refugee Agency criticized the Canadian state for its practices of holding immigration detainees in provincial jails in violation of international law.
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