The detention of asylum seekers in Europe. Constructed on shaky ground?

The detention of asylum seekers pending the examination of their application for international protection continues to provoke heated debates in Europe. While the use of immigration detention is generally on the rise in European countries as an integral part of their responses to migration flows, the detention of persons applying for international protection raises particular questions of legality and proportionality. International and European legal standards have established a clear presumption against the detention of migrants and refugees in particular. The case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) continues to remind governments that immigration detention concerns persons who have not committed any crime and therefore can only be used for a lawful purpose, as a measure of last resort, and subject to procedural guarantees protecting individuals from being subjected to arbitrary detention.


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