Wednesday, May 4, 2022

New Report Released by WHO Europe on Health Challenges in Immigration Detention

On May 4, 2022, the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, released a new report: Addressing the health challenges in immigration detention, and alternatives to detention: a country implementation guide (2022). The report concludes that detention can have severe, negative impacts on the health of migrants, both during and after detention. Although international law provides that detention should only be a "last resort, and never for children," reliance on detention is growing across Europe.

A full copy of the report is available here

Here is an abstract describing the report's key findings:

This country implementation guide outlines current evidence, knowledge and best practices relating to the health and health challenges of refugees and migrants in immigration detention, as well as alternatives to detention.

It highlights key principles and international commitments, summarizes the current status and health challenges and provides practical considerations for addressing the health challenges of refugees and migrants in immigration detention, as well as the implementation of alternatives to detention.

Specific areas for intervention include providing comprehensive training for staff, ensuring safeguards, providing psychological support and providing tools to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

The guide also promotes engagement-based alternatives to detention. While the main intended audience is policy-makers across sectors at local, national and regional levels, the guide is also of value for health planners, relevant ministries, international organizations, management of immigration detention facilities and their staff, and researchers.


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