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  • Assistance to seriously ill migrants in Mexico and Honduras
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in collaboration with the Mexican and Central American National Societies, provides free assistance to migrants (in transit or returned) who have suffered major illnesses or injuries during their journey (including amputations, spinal cord injuries, etc.). They offer the following services: (1) donation of prostheses (before physical rehabilitation), (2) osteosynthesis materials, wheelchairs and crutches, (3) ambulance transfers, (4) referral to rehabilitation and medical care centres in Mexico and Central America, and (5) reestablishment of family links when necessary.

    In Honduras, the National Committee to Support Returning Migrants with Disabilities (CONAMIREDIS), with technical and financial support from the ICRC, works directly with returning migrants who have disabilities. It offers: (1) psychological assistance through support groups of people with similar experiences; (2) access to training and vocational education (e.g., how to design a business plan); and (3) seed capital to implement business plans through an agreement with the Chamber of Commerce. (Approximately 40 businesses plans were financed in 2015.) In addition, CONAMIREDIS performs conferences and lectures in schools and other institutions to share its experience of migration and raise awareness of the risks associated with trying to enter the United States irregularly. The ICRC supports CONAMIREDIS with both technical and financial support.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Transit
  • Coaches to help navigate a family's options in Belgium
  • Belgium
  • Under Belgian law the families staying at these units remain legally “detained”; in practice however, the family units are not closed and families have a large degree of freedom of movement albeit with some restrictions. Although there is a 10 pm to 8 am curfew and one adult family member must always remain in the house, this is applied with some flexibility with the prior authorization of the coaches. The families receive a weekly allowance, food vouchers and non-food items. Children are able to attend schools in the locality and families have regular access to physical and mental health services if requiredFamilies are required to sign a “contract” that sets out their rights and obligations while in the family unit as well as the consequences of absconding. Each family is assigned a “coach”, who is in effect a case manager, employed by the Belgian Immigration Department. Coaches are responsible for providing families with individual and holistic support. This support centres on helping families to achieve case resolution, whether this is a right of residence in Belgium, or return with dignity if they are found to have no legal basis to remain. In doing so, they provide logistical and administrative support to families, ensuring that they have access to pro bono legal services and arranging meetings with diplomatic and consular representatives where appropriate, in cooperation with the Immigration Office
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • Ensuring that detention is only used when necessary in Brazil
  • Brazil
  • In Brazil, the presumption of liberty is reflected in the law by the fact that detention is only permissible as an exceptional measure when necessary in order to execute deportation. (Art. 61 and 73 of the Immigration Law). Persons already in the country: Instead of detaining, the first measure of response to an immigration infraction is to issue the migrant a fine and order him/her to leave the country or regularize their status within a certain period of time. This does not apply to persons seeking asylum or those who have the possibility of regularizing their immigration status through one of the country’s existing amnesty programs. The order to leave the country is noted in the migrant's identity document, or in its absence, is included in a statement issued by authorities (Art. 57 and 127 of the Immigration Law). A person is able to leave Brazil without be required to pay the fine. However, they will not be allowed to re-enter legally without paying. The time limit given applies both to payment of the fine and leaving the country. Those who do not leave the country within the allotted time limit, enter into deportation proceedings. Persons who face deportation may be detained for up to 60 days, if deemed necessary in order to execute removal, with possible extension of up to 120 days. However, actual detention rarely occurs in practice unless the migrant has committed a crime (Art. 61 of the Immigration Law)
  • Law
  • Liberty
  • Only permit detention when alternatives cannot be applied
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Time limit reduces the numbers of children and their families in detention in the United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom
  • Published Home Office detention policy sets out a a series of groups of vulnerable individuals who are only considered suitable for detention in very exceptional circumstances. : Where a decision is taken to detain someone falling into one of these categories, they would be detained alongside individuals not considered to be vulnerable. The UK does not have accommodation specifically set aside within immigration removal centres for detainees who might be considered vulnerable. Families with children under 18 being returned are only detained as a last resort where they have failed to cooperate with attempts to encourage them to leave the UK voluntarily. They are held at Cedars Pre-Departure Accommodation for the last few days before their removal from the UK, which is a dedicated facility specifically for families with children . The duration of stay at the PDA is limited to 72 hours prior to the family's planned removal date, though there provision for them to remain for up to seven days in exceptional circumstances, subject to Ministerial approval. Families live in their own self-contained apartments at Cedars, with a lower level of security than would be found in an IRC. Cedars is run by the private contractor G4S in conjunction with the children's charity Barnardoâs, which provides welfare support to families there.
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Fair and timely case resolution
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • Voluntary return process in Finland
  • Finland
  • The Finnish Immigration Service and Helsinki Police have established a return transit center in the city of Vantaa, in the vicinity of the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. The center was established in February 2016 due to the high number of Iraqi asylum seekers willing to return home. These asylum seekers have either withdrawn their application, or have received a negative decision and are returning voluntarily to Iraq. The return is organized by police on charter flights to Baghdad. The returnees stay in Vantaa only a few days before departure. A visit to Iraqi Embassy can be organized during the stay if necessary for acquiring a travel document. These returnees do not take part in the Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) -programme and do not receive any reintegration support in cash or in kind. Finland organizes only voluntary returns to Iraq. Additionally, Finland has two detention units, where asylum seekers or irregular migrants awaiting forced removal may be placed, one in the capital Helsinki and one in Joutseno, near the eastern border. The capacity of the centre in Vantaa is 90-100 persons. The capacity of the detention centre in Helsinki is 40 and that of Joutseno is 30. The Iraqi nationals staying in the Vantaa return transit centre are all ex-asylum seekers returning voluntarily home. They are not detained and they are free to move in and out of the centre. They receive the same services and benefits as all asylum seekers in Finnish reception centres, e.g. food, accommodation, reception allowance and necessary health care. The two detention centres in Helsinki and Joutseno are closed units that operate under Finnish legislation regarding the detention of foreigners. The centres offer food, accommodation and necessary health care. The return centre in Vantaa, as well as the detention centres, are managed by the Finnish Immigration Service. There are special facilities for vulnerable cases or families with minor children at Joutseno detention centre.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case resolution
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Options for people being deported from the Netherlands
  • Netherlands
  • In the Netherlands, a number of different alternatives to detention are available as part of the Government's returns policy., The Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) and the police when assessing the need for an alternative to detention consider the following factors: the prospects of return, the alien's willingness to actively work towards return, the risks of absconding and any new facts or developments in the alien's personal situation. The DT&V collaborates with local NGOs if the alien is willing to work on return with an NGO instead of the DT&V. Every year the DT&V accepts applications for grants for local initiatives dealing with return, such as case management, or other in-kind or cash assistance upon return. Different monitoring measures varying in intensity may be applied, sometimes in combination, for example, a duty to regularly report combined with DT&V assistance to prepare for return, the handing over of security deposit assessed against their financial situation, the deposit of documentation to the police or a measure of directed residence. Attention to vulnerable groups such as families, unaccompanied or separated children, elderly persons or persons with physical disabilities or medical or psychological problems is included in the returns policy. Pregnant women, for example, are entitled to postponement of return from six weeks before the due date until six weeks after the delivery, and they are provided with lawful residence and shelter and care during this period.
  • Policy
  • Case Management
  • Case resolution
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Humanitarian residence permit in Hungary
  • Hungary
  • Tolerated stay /"Exile" status under Act II of 2007 on the Entry and Stay of Third-Country Nationals (entered into force on 1 July 2007, hereinafter: RRTN). A residence permit on humanitarian grounds is issued to the person who has been granted the status of exile by Hungary. The validity period of a residence permit granted on humanitarian grounds shall be one year that may be extended by a maximum of one year at a time and under Art 29 (3) of RRTN a residence permit on humanitarian grounds shall be withdrawn if any requirement for issue is no longer satisfied; the third-country national in question has disclosed false information or untrue facts to the competent authority in the interest of obtaining the right of residence; or the withdrawal is requested by the authority or body on whose initiative it was for some other reason. Exiles shall be entitled to receive provisions under the scope of personal care, including financial provisions and financial assistance
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Transit
  • Time limit reduces the numbers of children and their families in detention in the United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom
  • "There will always be a need to hold families with children at the border while enquiries are made as to whether they may be admitted and/or while they await a return flight. The power to hold families with children is in Schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971.17 5.2 Children are usually held at the border because officials believe that the children’s best interests are served better by remaining with the family group until a decision on admission is made. However, detention is exceptional and can only be authorised by a senior Border Force official. The family is held for the shortest possible time, usually in a holding room at the port of entry. The maximum period that a family can be held in a holding room is 24 hours. Where possible, families are held separately from other passengers. The Panel has again visited several of these holding rooms during this reporting period and still considers the use of some of them for anything more than a few hours to be inappropriate. ... If a family is to be held overnight or for longer than 24 hours, they are normally moved to Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre which has a separate family unit which has been refurbished to a high specification. This decision must be authorised by a Director and for a stay beyond 72 hours ministerial authority must be gained. Border Force claim these and other measures which have been in force since August 2010 have seen a fall in the numbers of children and families being held at the border and where families have been held they have been held for shorter periods. Unfortunately the Panel has no way of challenging or supporting this assertion"
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Regular review of placement decisions
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • Avoiding detaining children in families pending return
  • Belgium
  • Families with children who
 are required to leave Belgium are accommodated in individual open housing units, called return-houses. ‘There are two categories of family in the return-houses: the families who were arrested on the territory and the families who asked for asylum at the border. Family unity is maintained even when children have turned 18 years old. Family members are allowed to exit the house, providing that one adult member of the family remains present in the unit. Children are allowed to attend school, even though it is sometimes difficult to ensure in practice (due to lack of available places in schools, short period prior to the return, etc). Families have access to health care in addition to an obligation to a medical check when entering the return- houses and to a fit-to fly examination before return. Within the return houses, families receive counselling from a return-coach, who works for the Foreigners Office. Each coach works with 3 to 4 families at a time and is in almost daily contact on behalf of the families with the authorities. The coach’s role is to prepare families for return whilst exploring the possibilities of them receiving a residence permit and supporting them in their current situation. They provide families with information and coordinate the involvement of other actors working with the family, for example, lawyers, and help children enrol in school. They also prepare families for regularisation of their stay. From October 2008 up to February 2011, 145 families with 268 children stayed in the return houses. Amongst them, 60 families returned to their country of origin or to a third country. In very few cases were coercive measures necessary for the return.’
  • Policy
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • Pre-Removal processes for refused asylum seekers in Canada
  • Canada
  • Although not specifically designed to address the needs of children, asylum seekers whose cases have been rejected and who are expected to depart Canada can apply for protection under the Pre-Removal Risk Assessment process. This process takes into consideration a change in circumstances in asylum seekers’ countries of origin, new information demonstrating that asylum seekers will be at risk of persecution, torture or to cruel, inhuman or unusual treatment or punishment, or the possibility that asylum seekers’ lives may be otherwise endangered should they be compelled to leave Canada. The PRRA is not an appeal against earlier decisions and consideration is given only to new information or evidence. The PRRA decision is usually made on the papers. Only a very small percentage of applicants are granted the right to remain in Canada under the PRRA.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case resolution
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Open houses for families departing Belgium
  • Belgium
  • Open housing facilities (“family identification and return units”, or “family units”) for undocumented families living in Belgium, families who apply for asylum at the border, as well as asylum-seeking families under the Dublin Regulations. Each family is assigned a “coach”, who is in effect a case manager, employed by the Belgian Immigration Department. Coaches are responsible for providing families with individual and holistic support. This support centres on helping families to achieve case resolution, whether this is a right of residence in Belgium, or return with dignity if they are found to have no legal basis to remain. In Belgium, the centralised ‘Fedasil’ system, which provides asylum seekers with accommodation, is not specifically designed to improve compliance. The different types of accommodation provided – collective centres or private flats – are allocated based on need rather than on an asylum seeker’s risk of absconding, and an asylum seeker is not considered to have absconded until he or she fails to appear for five days or fails to collect his or her financial assistance. In accordance with the incoming EU Directive, judicial oversight of a decision to assign someone to a place of accommodation is available, so that an applicant can be granted an exemption in exceptional circumstances. A large percentage of asylum seekers are believed to abscond during the Belgian asylum procedure,144 though far fewer in the earlier stages now that the transit route to the UK has been made less accessible.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • Open return centres with reporting requirements in Germany
  • Germany
  • In Germany, special return centres (‘Ausreisezentren’) have been established in a few federal States to accommodate undocumented illegal migrants, including persons found not to be in need of international protection and who refuse to return. Persons of the above-mentioned category are ordered to take up residence in these Centres, which are formally open. The residents, however, have to report on a regular basis (e.g. three times per week) and they are informed about their legal situation in regular conversations with a view to obtaining their cooperation in the administrative process and encouraging their departure from Germany. The standard of amenities in such Centres is generally set at a level that also acts as a disincentive to remain in Germany – that is, only basic needs are met.177 Nongovernmental critics of this policy call for a greater use of the concept of ‘supported voluntary return’ – meaning the provision of counselling and incentives, including financial and practical assistance and vocational training, to promote mandatory return with the consent and cooperation of the person to be returned. This concept has seen a revival recently in Germany, with several projects at the Länder or district level, in most cases jointly carried out with various nongovernmental partners and co-funded by the European Refugee Fund. These projects are succeeding in minimising the use of pre-deportation detention, but also helping people see when return home may be in their best interests, and to make this a dignified process.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All