How to use the alternatives to detention database

Select a Type of ATD

Our database can be used to examine existing laws, policies and practices that various states have implemented that avoid the use of immigration detention – also known as Alternatives to Detention (ATD). Select a category from the drop-down menu and learn about examples.

This will help you build an understanding of how alternatives can be implemented in a range of settings. To make your search more relevant to your desired region, be sure to refine the ‘select a country’ box. 

Select a CAP type

Our Community Assessment and Placement (CAP) model is a tool to help build systems that avoid the use of unnecessary immigration detention.

The categories that you can choose from are defined below:

  • Liberty – a presumption against detention.
  • Minimum standards – Standards States must respect and uphold for all individuals, regardless of legal status.
  • Screening & Assessment  identifying the needs, strengths, risks and vulnerabilities in each case.
  • Placement options factors in the community setting that can either support or undermine a person’s ability to comply with immigration authorities.
  • Case Management understanding and responding to the unique needs and challenges of the individual and their context. 

Find out more:

Select a sub CAP Type

This part is for super nerds only. 

These are sub-categories to the above section, components of the CAP model. 

Find out more about these categories here

Select a Migration Status

When developing a strong and effective migration governance system, it is crucial to know exactly who you are dealing with. The categoies in this database are defined below: 

  • Asylum seekers A person who has made an application to be recognised as a refugee but who has not yet received a final decision on that application
  • Migrants – A person within a State’s territory who is a citizen of another State or a stateless person from another territory
  • Refugees A person recognised by a qualified authority as having a legitimate claim under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
  • Returnees – People who have been assisted or independently returned to the country of origin, transit or another third country
  • Deportees – A  person  who  is  not  considered  as  a  national  by  any  State  under the operation of its law. A deportee is a person who has been removed from a State. 
  • Stateless A  person  who  is  not  considered  as  a  national  by  any  State  under the operation of its law
  • Trafficked A person who has been recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation
  • Undocumented or irregular migrants A migrant who does not fulfil, or no longer fulfils, the conditions of entry, stay or residence within a State

The IDC’s glossary of terms is available here. 

Select a demographic

The detention population is varied.  For population-specific research, choose from our list of demographics to narrow your search to your relevant population.