Letter from the President and Director

Around the world today, we continue to see unprecedented numbers of men, women and children being forcibly displaced, destitute and detained.

More than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced, and more than half of those are children.

It is a time when solutions are urgently needed.

Yet despite this humanitarian crisis, we have seen countries reacting with fear rather than leadership, criminalizing migration and detaining countless vulnerable people.

Grant will never forget working with a 14 year old Iraqi boy, Abdullah and his family. He was highly articulate and sensitive, and he had been detained since he was 10 years old.  

Life in detention was all he could remember. 
He had seen so much violence and was even placed in solitary confinement.
Children usually have such bright eyes: but there was no hope in Abdullah’s eyes. It was a haunting experience, an experience that no child should have to live through. 

This experience is just one of the many that keep all of us committed to our work with the International Detention Coalition  to promote alternatives to immigration detention as a more affordable, effective and humane way to govern migration.

More than a decade ago, creating alternatives to detention was a concept that we saw had potential to shift the paradigm. 

Today, we have identified more than 250 examples of alternatives to detention being used worldwide with positive results. 

The IDC’s work to research, advocate, campaign and build capacity has made significant advancements this year, utilizing the powerful network of thousands working to advance the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in immigration detention.

This year has been a reminder of the value of collaboration, between our members, our partners, and across sectors.

We thank all who have been involved, and urge you to read more about the impact we have been having as a movement in this annual report. 

"Our role as civil society is to remain vigilant, to pursue the fundamental rights for those who are vulnerable and voiceless in our society."


Anna Gallagher IDC Presidentanna-signature Anna Gallagher, President



Grant Mitchell, Director