The First Standalone Project on Alternatives to Immigration Detention in Turkey


Ankara – A variety of concrete examples and practices of alternatives to the detention of migrants were presented at Consultative Meeting organized by IOM Turkey in Ankara. Representatives from relevant migration authorities in several countries, Council of Europe, international and national NGOs, experts and academics came together to exchange the principles, experiences, and challenges regarding implementation of alternatives to immigration detention.

Alternatives to detention (ATD) are any legislation, policy or practice, formal or informal, that ensures people are not detained for reasons relating to their migration status. Implemented by IOM, the first Standalone Project on Alternatives to Detention in Turkey, is supporting Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) in establishing and implementing an effective ATD program.

Alternatives to detention better respect the human rights of migrants. Thus, Turkey put an amendment in Law on Foreigners and International Protection (LFIP) concerning alternatives to detention into force to treat migrants with dignity and keep them within their communities. Seven foreseen alternatives are; designated residence, reporting, family-based return, return counselling, volunteering in public services, surety, and electronic monitoring.

The detention of migrants is a common practice in several countries and has serious lasting effects on individuals and families. Considering the significant increase in the apprehension of irregular migrants in Turkey, with record number 454.662 in 2019, it is crucial to fully understand what makes alternatives to detention effective and what makes them fail. Organized by IOM, the first “Consultative Meeting on Alternatives to Immigration Detention”, took place in Ankara and brought experts, academicians, NGOs to discuss best practices and experiences of alternatives to detention of migrants.

The first standalone project “Supporting Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) to Develop Alternatives to Immigration Detention (ATDs) System in Turkey” is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and will support DGMM in establishing and implementing an effective ATD program in Turkey.