[European Union] Under lock and key: Asylum seekers in detention

04 Dec 2018

The most recent European Directive on detention clearly defines situations in which countries can detain asylum seekers. Despite this, many countries in Europe apply the practice of detention of asylum seekers, adults as well as children also in cases when it is not according to law. Hungary received a lot of criticism in relation to their practices which include detention of asylum seekers on the border with Serbia, while the applications are processed. According to Marie Walter-Franke, a specialist on EU migration other member states Hungary is not alone and as many as twelve EU member-states have been using similar practices. In the past few years the detention of asylum seekers on their way out of the EU aiming to to enforce returns has also became an issue. Despite the detention of asylum-seeking, refugee, stateless or migrant child is prohibited only in four countries children are never detained: Croatia, Malta, Ireland and Slovakia. On the other side, France, Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary are among those where detention of children is frequently applied. In September 2018 a revision of the Directive has been proposed, including renewed support for detention, despite previous commitments to advocate for alternative salutations, driven by the critics who are warning detention is an expensive, harmful and ineffective solution.

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