Sharing Insights Across the Network

This year we continued to resource and upskill our members and partners to strengthen their advocacy on the issue of detention.

In an international first, we launched our online toolkit on alternatives to detention -

The toolkit was designed to equip our diverse membership to advocate for ways to limit and end harmful detention practices. Modules are 15 minutes in length, designed to be part of a broader course curriculum, and available online – enabling our network to access them anywhere, anytime.

Modules feature short video interviews with experts reflecting on why their advocacy or programming has been successful, and what lessons can be learnt across the IDC network. A list of relevant resources is available for each course, gathering together best practice and utilizing existing resources for maximum effect.

Now it is possible for IDC Members to access training anywhere, anytime, about alternatives to immigration detention.

Many of our members tell us that being able to talk to an IDC Staff Member in person really helps to enhance their understanding of how alternatives to detention can be used to advocate for more effective and affordable migration outcomes.

Tine Vermeiran coordinates the Platform for Minors in Exile, based in Brussels, Belgium and is a member of the IDC. She says,

“As a member organization of the IDC, we value very much the IDC’s work. For us to be able to use the reports in our advocacy work at the national level, we need to feel at ease with them. This level of comprehension, especially of theoretical models, can only be obtained through presentations and direct exchanges with the IDC staff members, in addition to the reports…”

Read more of Tine’s reflections here

This year, we’ve been working to create spaces to bring the network together to share expertise.

We established a new network of European NGOs which aims to reduce immigration detention by showing governments what works better in practice: not just by talking about it, but by actually doing it. Set up at the end of March, the “European Alternatives to Detention (ATD) Network” links civil society organisations developing case management-based pilot projects in five European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and the United Kingdom. Several peer exchange meetings have taken place pertaining to the work of the Alternatives to Detention in Europe Network since, providing a vital space for civil society to learn from the collective experiences.

In Africa, an IDC Staff delegation visited South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana between April 24th and May 14, discussing alternatives to detention in the region and how States could  enact their 2016 Migration for Southern Africa Dialogue (MIDSA) commitment to implement alternatives to detention, especially for children. In each country, the IDC met with members, supporters, UN agencies and Governments about positive practice in the region and ways that these practices can be expanded.

More than 25 IDC Member organisations attended the sessions during the delegation visit, and over 50 government representatives were engaged in these sessions, with follow up programming work having taken place since in Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

We continue to see the benefits of bringing various participants from civil society and government representatives together, noting that there are a range of different strengths in our networks, and creating spaces to share those strengths continues to catalyse strong results.


Participants at the Alternatives to Detention peer exchange workshop in Sofia, June, 2017

IDC Director, Grant Mitchell, with Grace Chiumia, Minister of Malawi Home Affairs and Internal Security in Malawi