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  • Law prohibiting the detention of specific vulnerable groups in China
  • China
  • The People’s Republic of China’s (China) Exit and Entry Law, which came into effect on 1 July 2013, aims to limit the use of immigration detention for vulnerable individuals.

    The Exit and Entry Law excludes certain vulnerable migrants from detention including minors under 16 years of age, persons with disabilities, persons with serious illnesses, pregnant women, and those over 70 years of age.

    The Exit and Entry Law also contains provisions allowing refugees and asylum seekers to stay in China after obtaining an identification card from public security authorities.

    Additionally, the July 2012 revisions to the Procedural Provisions for the Handling of Administrative Cases by Public Security Organs also excludes other individuals from detention including: those who voluntarily ask for inspection by entry-exit department, pay fines, and buy tickets to voluntarily return to their home country; those who entered through irregular means and stayed, received no help from family members or embassies; survivors of trafficking; and foreigners married to Chinese nationals, especially those with children born in China.

    Note: section 61 of the Exit-Entry Administrative Law simply prohibits the detention of vulnerable groups for "investigation", but says their "activity scope" may be restricted, i.e. they may not leave the restricted locations without approval of authorities. The period for restricting activity scope is not to exceed 60 days. Unclear if these vulnerable groups can be detained for other reasons other than "investigation"
  • Law
  • Liberty
  • Prohibit the detention of vulnerable individuals
  • Migrants
  • Undocumented or irregular migrants
  • Pregnant and nursing mothers
  • Reporting mechanisms for vulnerable poulations in Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • After a short period in detention, most vulnerable individuals including asylum seekers and torture claimants are released on their own recognisance, which may include conditions of self-surety and minimal reporting requirements. Asylum seekers and torture claimants are issued with recognisance papers from the Hong Kong Immigration Department documenting their status in the community. The recognisance paper is renewable monthly to certify that the person has a claim under process and has permission to stay in Hong Kong. All non-refoulement claimants are required to report in person to the HKID once a month or as scheduled. Failure to report is tantamount to absconding and consequently results in an investigation and potential arrest. A government-funded project run by a non-government organisation arranges housing in the community as well as direct provision of food, clothing and medicine to these clients. Using a case management approach, workers assess each case on intake and develop an appropriate program of response in line with the resources available. Vulnerable clients, such as unaccompanied minors, are given priority and extra support as able. Persons must report regularly to the NGO, though the NGO is not responsible for compliance matters, although known breaches must be reported to authorities
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Pregnant and nursing mothers
  • Policy mandating the consideration of alternatives to detention in Canada
  • Canada
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Enforcement Manual 20 (ENF 20)- Officers must be aware that alternatives to detention exist. As an alternative to detention, an officer may impose conditions, require a deposit of money or direct that a person participate in a third party risk management program ( para 5.11). Officers must also consider alternatives to detention and ensure detention is avoided or considered as a last resort for: the elderly, pregnant, sick, handicapped, mentally ill, and with behavioural problems, where safety or security is not an issue - (5.13). Also, in making a decision to detain or release, officers must consider the existence of alternatives to detention (see 5.9), detention is feasible where alternatives to detention are not avaialble to mitigate any risk to public safety or flight risk (5.9).
  • Policy
  • Liberty
  • Only permit detention when alternatives cannot be applied
  • Migrants
  • Pregnant and nursing mothers