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Monitoring immigration detention in the Asia Pacific

Graphic: Workshop participants interview two men in detention

Participants from four APF members have shared ideas and developed new approaches to strengthen their monitoring of immigration detention facilities.

Participants from four national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Asia Pacific region – Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Maldives – have shared ideas and developed new approaches to strengthen their monitoring of immigration detention in their respective countries.

The eight NHRI staff members recently took part in a blended learning course on preventive monitoring, delivered by the APF in partnership with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT)

They had been part of an initial group of 19, drawn from seven APF member institutions, who received training in monitoring immigration detention facilities from the APF and APT in November 2015.

Their feedback from that course was used to develop this follow-up program, which helped to further build their skills in conducting preventive monitoring visits and deepen their understanding of key concepts that underpin the preventive approach, such as the "do no harm" principle.


Graphic: Workshop participants talk with an official


The blended learning course combined online discussions and activities during October 2016 with a face-to-face workshop in Jakarta from 31 October-2 November 2016, which was generously hosted by the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

As part of the workshop, participants planned and undertook a visit to an immigration detention centre in Kalideres, on the outskirts of Jakarta.

They also discussed steps they could take to address the needs of especially vulnerable groups in immigration detention, such as children and LGBTI people.

After the visiting exercise, participants reviewed the action plans they prepared for their respective NHRIs from the previous year.

The importance of collaboration was an important theme of this course, said Kate Turner-Mann, APF Regional Training Manager

"It was a very valuable opportunity to connect NHRIs in the region facing similar challenges and build a community of monitors that will support the vital work they do in different parts of the region," she said.

Date: 17 November 2016


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This course was supported by the European Union and was the last activity in a three-year project to strengthen the capacity of NHRIs in the Asia Pacific to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment.


Image credits

  1. Workshop participants interview two men in detention - APF
  2. Workshop participants talk with an official - APF
  3. EU logo - EU