Campaign of parliamentary visits for a right of access inside detention centres for migrants - 7-31 March 2011

As part of the campaign “ for a right of access inside detention centers for migrants”, the Euro-African network Migreurop launched on March 7, 2011 its second campaign of parliamentary visits in administrative detention centers[1]. After its first campaign in 2009, national and European deputies as well as civil society activists were able to visit 10 detention centers in Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and Mauritania.

This second campaign of visits had been organised with the specific intention of evaluating progress in the implementation of the EU Return Directive 2008/115/CE. Because the directive has not been implemented yet by all members states, however, it appears too soon to measure the impact of the text on the detention of migrants. What it is possible to say is that, while the directive contains certain measures more favourable to migrants than some national legislations, in many European countries it represents a regression in migrants’ rights. More importantly, by contributing to the systematization of the detention process in order to rationalize expulsions, it has well earned its reputation as a "shameful directive."

The Migreurop network called in 2010 for the closure of detention centres for migrants in Europe and beyond, and the aim of its second campaign was to publicise migrants’ detention conditions and the systematic violation of their rights. The ten visits we carried out helped shed light on the poor physical conditions and the lack of transparency on the reality of life inside the centres. The findings of the visits emphasise the negative and repressive effects of migrant detention, thereby confirming the illegitimacy of administrative detention and the need for these centres to be closed. That is the position that that has been uncompromisingly taken by some delegations after their visit.

You will find a summary of each visit and an analytic document with the main conclusions of this second campaign on Migreurop’s website (

Press contact : +33 1 53 27 87 81

1As part of the campaign “ for a right of access inside detention centers for migrants”, Migreurop network invited a first time, deputies from various countries to get in detention center for migrants, from January 30th to February 7th, 2009 in order to defend a right of access.
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