Webinar on Alternatives to Detention (EMN Belgium)
On 15 December, EMN Belgium and the EMN Return Expert Group hosted a webinar on Alternatives to Detention. The online event focused on the current legal framework on alternatives to detention, the implementation of these alternatives in practice and the identification of emerging good practices and pilot projects.
According to the 2008 EU Return Directive, Member States may only detain illegally staying migrants if “less coercive measures” cannot be applied effectively. These measures, “alternatives to detention”, adopted by states may take a range of forms, including regular reporting to the authorities, the deposit of a financial guarantee, or the submission of documents.
The European Commission is working in close cooperation with Member States and civil society to develop and implement effective alternatives to detention as these are crucial from both migrant and state perspectives.
In Belgium, such non-custodial measures are to be “developed to the full extent” in the years to come, as was announced by the newly formed federal government on 30 September 2020. Yet the prerequisites for effective alternatives to detention remain largely unexplored.
That’s why EMN Belgium and the EMN Return Expert Group organized on 15 December a half-day webinar on “Alternatives to Detention: a State of Play”.
The event gathered over 210 key stakeholders from different organisations active in the field of migration and return (such as public bodies, academic institutions, NGOs, IOs, etc.), and notable speakers from the Belgian government, the EU Commission, civil society and municipal representatives.
This webinar aimed at providing participants with insights into the current legal framework on alternatives to detention, the implementation of these alternatives in practice and the identification of emerging good practices and pilot projects from across Europe and beyond.
Please find the agenda, a summary report of the conference, and the presentations of (most of) the speakers below.