Immigration Detention

The Asia Pacific region hosts more than half the world’s refugees and has the largest number of stateless persons globally. Due to a lack of a protective framework for refugees and stateless persons in many countries across the region, individuals are at risk of arbitrary detention, often in conditions that fall well short of international standards. At the same time, governments across the Asia Pacific increasingly use immigration detention as a means to deal with refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons and irregular migrants.

For the past six years, the International Detention Coalition (IDC) and APRRN have been working consistently through APRRN’s Immigration Detention Working Group (IDWG) to improve protection of detainees, increase access to justice for detainees, limit and end the use of immigration detention, and advocate for alternatives to detention (ATDs).

The work of the IDWG includes the development of national and regional action plans to achieve these goals, as well as the organisation of advocacy and capacity strengthening workshops around themes related to immigration detention and ATDs.

Key activities include:


  • Promote learning from existing good practices in the region (e.g. Hong Kong)
  • Promote Alternatives to Detention with ASEAN structures
  • Promote that, within the next five years, no children are detained/Engage with the “End Child Detention” Campaign of the International Detention Coalition
  • Engage National Human Rights Commissions on detention monitoring

Capacity strengthening:

  • Improve access to detention
  • Strengthen capacity of civil society to conduct mapping and screenings

Resource sharing and outreach:

  • Organise national roundtables and conduct follow-up activities that focus on ending the immigration detention of children (Southeast Asia)
  • Organise regional consultations bringing together key stakeholders such as civil society, UNHCR, AICHR representatives, government representatives etc.

Chair: Vivienne Chew (International Detention Coalition, Australia)
Deputy Chair: Joshua Ericsson (HOST International, Australia)