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Our policy recommendations

Move is aware of the fact that detention centres won’t be shut down in the near future. That is why we keep defending the following key principles:

Respect for freedom as a fundamental principle of any policy, both in legislation and in administrative practice;

Respect for the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits the return of a person to a country where he or she is at risk of an inhuman and degrading treatment;

Respect for the right to private and family life;

Respect for the migrant and rejection of the term “illegal”, which leads to the criminalisation of undocumented people.

In addition, we strongly ask to:

1. ensure that administrative detention of migrants will only be used as a last resort, after an individual examination and based on the principle of proportionality;

2. ensure the duration of detention will be limited as much as possible and to include in the legislation a maximum period of detention from the day of the arrest;

3. make room for alternatives to detention that are in compliance with human rights and adjusted to each specific situation, ensuring that these alternatives actually improve access to liberty and do not merely restrict it further;

4. increase transparency and monitoring mechanisms throughout the return process by:

  • fighting ethnic profiling during arrests;
  • guaranteeing the rights of administrative detainees at police stations;
  • providing a national prevention mechanism against torture, as required by the UN (OPCAT), in all detention centres;
  • demanding the government to regularly disclose accurate figures and practices;
  • establishing a standing committee to oversee the deportation policy.

5. strictly prohibit the detention of families with minor children by law, to end the separation of families under the deportation policy and systematically take into account the best interests of the child;

6. prohibit the arrest and detention at the airport of people seeking international protection upon their arrival in Belgium, and more broadly, in the territory;

7. establish a system to identify people in vulnerable situations and prohibit their detention (accompanied or unaccompanied minors, the disabled, the elderly, people with medical problems, etc.);

8.  ensure the effectiveness of detainees’ fundamental rights by:

  • improving their access to legal aid;
  • accrediting NGO visitors and enshrining independent visitor status in law to remove it from the discretion of the Immigration Department;
  • establish an effective complaints mechanism accessible from the detention centre.

9. provide for an effective appeal against administrative detention, by making it automatic and allowing the court to control expediency, through an automatic judicial review of detention decisions.