Academics, Activists and Policy-makers
Edited by Michael J. Flynn and Matthew B. Flynn
Chapter 13: Back to basics? The limited use of immigration detention in South America: an interpretation based on international human rights treaties and principles
The author explores why processes that have spurred growth in immigration detention in much of the world have thus far failed to have the same impact in most South American countries. The chapter provides a legal interpretation of relevant provisions in the United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers to argue that while the Convention regulates aspects of immigration-related detention, the focus of any effort to challenge growth in immigration detention should be the right to liberty and related human rights standards. The chapter discusses developments in South America through the lens of these human rights standards to argue that while the region’s general failure to adopt aggressive detention regimes may appear to be anomalous when compared to other regions, what is truly exceptional is how detention has become normalized across most of the globe and legitimated as a necessary tool to respond to the multidimensional, structural phenomenon of irregular migration.
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