Immigration Detention Working Group Chair, Vivienne Chew

Vivienne is the International Detention Coalition’s (IDC) Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator. IDC works with its members, UN and other stakeholders to advocate for the human rights of people impacted by, and at-risk of immigration detention. Vivienne has previously served as both Chair and Deputy Chair of IDWG, during which time IDC and APRRN collaborated on many initiatives to strengthen the capacity of their members and others to advocate for alternatives to immigration detention (ATD) as well as engage in strategic litigation to challenge the use of immigration detention, particularly for children.

Immigration detention has remained a significant problem across the Asia Pacific region, with refugee, asylum seeking, migrant and stateless people, families and communities at risk of arbitrary and prolonged detention. COVID-19 has meant that the capacity of civil society and other stakeholders to respond and advocate has been severely stretched. At the same time, the pandemic has led to opportunities to advocate for a reduction in the use of immigration detention, particularly from a public health angle. There has also been important progress in a number of countries in Southeast Asia towards ending child immigration detention and developing ATD for children and their families.

Vivienne will work with Joshua, Deputy Chair of IDWG, to take stock of what members’ current needs are, and how networks like APRRN and IDC can better support the work of members at the national level. At the same time, it will be important to leverage  regional and global opportunities that can help to further catalyse change at the national level.

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