From Deprivation to Liberty

Jesuit Refugee Service warns against 'using a sledgehammer to crack a nut'. - Excerpts taken from review on 'SJ', the newsletter of the British Province of the Society of Jesus, Issue 53, Jan 2012


'Detaining migrants is unnecessary because more humane and less costly non-custodial alternatives exist, according to the latest report from the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). Entitled From Deprivation to Liberty, the r ep or t, wh ic h was launched shortly before Christmas in the European Parliament, is based on indepth interviews with 25 migrants participating in alternatives-to-detention programmes in Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom.'

'The report says that although community-based measures are clearly a step in the right direction, unless they are accompanied by appropriate legal, social and other support, migrants can be forced into destitution.'

'Community-based alternatives are five times cheaper than migration detention, which cost states like Belgium and the UK as much as 200 Euro per day. In times of economic crisis, EU states should implement cos t-ef f ective alter natives to detention, rather than waste precious resources on a harmful and ineffective system, said the JRS report.'

“Detention is akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nutshell. It does not make sense to deprive the liberty of large groups of migrants on the assumption that a minority would abscond from the authorities”, said the author of the report, Philip Amaral of JRs Europe.

Read more: New JRS report launched at EU Parliament 

Full report may be viewed or downloaded here 


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