Cages in Search of Birds: How the Dutch, Belgian and Swedish Regimes Reveal the Inhumanity of Detention Centers

June 20, 2012. Today is World Refugee Day, as declared by the United Nations. The event is marked with platitudes such as “One family torn apart by war is too many” and “No one chooses to be a refugee”. Despite the truth behind these trite phrases, the fact remains that over the past year approximately 800,000 people fled their homelands as refugees to seek asylum in foreign countries like The Netherlands, Belgium, or Sweden.

Not all refugees are granted asylum. Some requests are denied, and the asylum seekers are then forced to leave the country to which they fled. In The Netherlands, the government sends these rejected asylum seekers to detention centers where they join other foreigners awaiting deportation, such as undocumented migrant workers.

We spent World Refugee Day traveling to the Schiphol detention center, located near the international airport less than fifteen miles from central Amsterdam. The center based at Schiphol includes the detention facility, a court, and offices of police and customs. The line 187 bus dropped us off on the side of a highway and we followed yellow signs emblazoned with “Ten Pol 64- Justice”. Nothing in the surroundings indicated the presence of a detention center, in fact, the complex seemed strategically placed to avoid unwanted public attention.

As we approached the center we began to feel ill at ease. The complex is surrounded by a fence ten or twelve feet high, topped by barbed wire in some areas. All the buildings are a dull grey metal and some are windowless. We anticipated that the authorities would question our presence outside the center and we might be immediately sent away. One man with a government identification badge watched as we walked around the exterior of the complex, and then asked what we were doing. After we explained our interest in the center he said he couldn’t help us, but suggested we might ask someone in the court or the detention area to speak with us.

Our feelings of discomfort magnified upon entering the detention area through a small gate in the towering fence. Inside the reception area two security officers sat behind a glass window. There was a second door for approved visitors to enter through, after which were rows of lockers to store belongings and a thorough security checkpoint. Since we had been unable to fix an appointment at the detention center, the security guard sent us back out the way we came and gave us the general information number for detention centers in The Netherlands. It was a relief to be back outside the intimidating fence and we found it ironic to have felt so insecure at a place the government operates in the name of national security.

Back outside, we observed the banal day-to-day operations of the detention center. The vast majority of employees we saw were white males, most seemed to be some sort of police officers in uniforms equipped with guns and handcuffs. During just fifteen minutes, six white police vans with black tinted windows entered the detention facility. We imagined who might be inside: a migrant worker from Turkey who came to support his family, a woman fleeing oppression in Iran, or a family from Somalia seeking food security. Overhead, commercial planes were arriving and departing from the nearby airport, filled with passengers bearing European Union passports that entitled them to complete freedom of movement. Despite all our imagining, the only sign of life inside the center we witnessed was a basketball occasionally thrown high enough in the air to be seen above the fence.

Our bus ride back to Amsterdam was silent as our heads overflowed with questions. Why do these detention centers exist? Why are they so far away from the public eye and why do they resemble prisons? Are not there any other options? What does it mean to live in a state that actively locks people up simply because of their citizenship status? After seeing the Schiphol detention center, these were the burning questions we set out to answer.

Detention Centers in Europe

As European countries established stricter immigration policies throughout the 1980s, governments began using detention centers as an integral step in the process of deporting rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants. Jonathan Simon, a law professor at University of California at Berkeley, calls detention of non-citizens “immigration imprisonment” because it resembles some aspects of the general prison while remaining significantly different in other domains. While prisons care to “discipline” inmates, the immigration detention center is a pre-modern prison because it only seeks to punish and permanently remove “wasted” bodies, or undesirable non-citizens. 

Undesirable non-citizens are seen as economically marginal and politically dangerous. These bodies are detained and pushed toward abandonment, in many places subject to inhumane treatment and even death. Flavia Dzodan, a cultural critic and writer who has researched detention camps across the European Union, effectively summarized this phenomenon when saying that detainees are the “non-subject,” constructed by the state as people with no names, no identity, and who are legitimately disposable simply because of their citizenship status. To investigate how these attitudes play out in policy, we consider at three case studies of detention regimes in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. 

The Netherlands

Annually, the government in the Netherlands detains thousands of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in (temporary) custody in preparation for their (forced) deportation. According to international and national law, this form of detainment should only be implemented as an “ultimum remedium”- a last resort in extreme cases after less drastic measures prove unsuccessful. The detention of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants is never legally required. Nevertheless, if authorities deem it legitimate, detention may be applied.

The Dutch government justifies its detention policies by appealing to its status as a sovereign state, which has been affirmed in international and European Union law. “The sovereignty of a state encompasses the right to decide what and who will enter and remain on the territory of that state. At a very fundamental level, the power to expel persons is linked to the essence of a state, and the state must have tools to enforce its sovereignty,” explains Lieselot Spliet, a policy officer in the Migration Policy Department at the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. In assessing the legality of the use of detention, the Dutch Minister of Justice and his executors mandated three considerations (Amnesty International, 2011): 

(1) Can this individual be deported?

(2) Is detention in the interest of public order or national security?

(3) Is detention justified?

In theory, these considerations are a guideline to assess the applicability of alternatives before detention. In practice, nearly all border-refused or arrested non-Dutch persons without a valid residence permit are automatically eligible for detention and are not presented alternatives and/or assistance for return. The Dutch government justifies the absence of assistance by arguing that it prevents interference from the asylum seekers and migrants on their deportation process. This argument is refuted in NGO reports, such as Justitia et Pax and Amnesty International, who claim that the government never conducted sufficient research about alternatives to detention. 

Amnesty International reports that the imprisonment of these irregular immigrants is intended to  discourage future asylum seekers to enter the country. Justitia et Pax's report on alternatives for detention states that there are several cases in which Western countries have implemented less dramatic alternatives to unnecessarily long detention. For example, an asylum seeker is detained an average of 23 days in Belgium and 42 days in Germany. These are significantly lower periods when compared to the average 97 days that undesirable non-citizens are detained in The Netherlands.

In addition, Amnesty International’s research has shown that alternatives could reduce the risks of health damage due to long confinement. It has been proven that prison-like settings often have negative health effects. In case of temporary custody, the detainees are left in uncertainty about the duration of their detention and their future, placing these non-citizens even below the guarantees given to regular criminal offenders. In other words, there seems to be a disproportionately inconsiderate treatment of undesirable non-citizens than that given to Dutch convicted criminals.

Contrary to Dutch imprisoned criminals, detainees are not allowed to work and do not enjoy the right to education. Detainees have limited access to a public telephone and internet, and spend an average of 13-16 hours per day in their cell. This combination of measures, detention and extended detainment generate feelings of anxiety and depression, sometimes escalating to suicide and other self-harm attempts. The prolonged nature of detention is actually regarded as a major factor contributing to mental deterioration, despondency, anger, and frustration (Amnesty International, 2011; Justitia et Pax, 2012). According to Rian Ederveen, an employee of Foundation LOS (National Support Organization for Undocumented People), there is a correlation between the length of time in detention and the severity of mental disorder. Even people in good health when entering the detention center may have to deal with insomnia, decreased appetite, stress and depression. 

As for governmental initiatives to remedy this situation, there have been marginal efforts. On the one hand, Ederveen emphasized that there have been numerous complaints of feelings of sadness and loss of self-identity between 2010 and 2011. These documented adverse health effects motivated the Foundation LOS to open a hotline in 2010, where detainees, guards, chaplains, medical service, visitors, politicians and other citizens may complain about detention conditions. On the other hand, the director of detention centers in the Netherlands (vreemdelingenbewaring), Eric Nijman, stated in early 2012 that immigration policy enforcers are currently working on “improving the living conditions” within detention centers (Van Dijk, 2012). However, his definition of “improving living conditions” remained ambiguous, preventing the public from keeping him accountable for any changes or lack thereof. 

Regarding the effectiveness of deportation following detention, about half of them are unsuccessful. Ineffectiveness often results from the unwillingness of the country of origin to cooperate or because the detainee withholds crucial information that precludes the person’s return. As the detention period increases so does the infeasibility of deportation, thus increasing the probability of a detainee entering into the klinkeren phase. Klinkeren describes how, when Dutch authorities fail to deport a specific detainee, they are required to release the individual from the detention. However, this creates a new set of problems for the former detainee, who does not have a valid residence permit. The former detainee is not allowed to register with the municipality, find housing, go to school or find a job. This makes it very difficult for the asylum seeker/migrant to achieve minimal living conditions. In addition, a persistent threat of repeated detainment pushes the non-citizen into a hopeless carousel of detentie-klinkeren-detentie. 

Nonetheless, the Dutch government claims to be reassessing its detention regime in order to make improvements. In early 2012, the director of detention centers in The Netherlands (vreemdelingenbewaring), Eric Nijman, claimed to be currently working on improving the conditions within the detention centers (Van Dijk, 2012). In a letter to the House of Representatives the previous year, Ivo Opstelten, the Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Policy, explained that the Ministry has also been investigating the scope for alternatives to detention. He stated that consideration of alternatives are largely intended for aliens who formerly resided in The Netherlands on the basis of a regular residence permit, but who are now required to leave the country. This group would necessarily include EU citizens whose lawful residence had terminated. The actions taken also included a pilot project focusing on former unaccompanied minor aliens. Minors previously fell under the Prospects Experiment (Experiment Perspectief), now terminated. Via this pilot project, the government wanted to prevent these young adults from ending up on the street, thus allowing current policy to detain this group. However, authorities wished to exercise restraint in this respect and have allowed minors to qualify (in principle) for the imposition of measures restricting their liberty. This means that the group would be placed in restrictive accommodations and considered an alternative to detention. 

Opstelten opposed extending alternatives to adult undocumented aliens. In his opinion, any exposure to such alternatives would be “too risky,” as there is a greater possibility for this group to evade supervision. Therefore, he believes detention to be the only measure for adult cases. According in Opstelten, the Ministry has a pilot project imposing a surety to be paid by or on behalf of the alien required to leave the country. The amount which is refunded the Ministry verifies that the alien has left the territory of the European Union. The surety could for instance be required in the case of aliens in detention who cooperate with their return and are waiting for a travel document.

In summary, the Dutch government cites evidence of investigating alternatives to detention, but these examples have clearly been limited in their eligibility scope. The pilot projects recommended in the letter by the Minister of Immigration, Integration and Asylum Policy are mainly focused on deportations and a few special cases. Yet, for the large group of undocumented aliens who are caught in the hopeless carousel of detentie-klinkeren-detentie it seems that the Dutch government still has a long way to go. 

Belgium

Belgium maintains a detention policy similar to that of The Netherlands, however the regime is less strict and has recently undergone several reforms. Belgium’s detention policy, based on the 1980 Aliens Act, currently operates six facilities managed by the Immigration Office. The first detention center officially opened in 1993, but one had been operating at the international airport since 1988. There are five closed centers which maintain a standard detention period of two months, although extensions are possible for a maximum of eight months. In the border zone center at the airport, detention up to seven days is possible. At any given moment these centers can hold 628 detainees, and an estimated 7,000 people are detained over the course of a year according to the Coordination et Initiatives pour Réfugiés et Étrangères (CIRE- Coordiantion and Initiatives for Refugees and Foreigners). The border police operate five additional border zone centers, where foreigners are considered not to have entered the Belgian territory and detention is limited to 48 hours. 

“The government justifies these policies by saying that without detention centers no management of immigration would be possible, therefore the centers are essential,” explains Benoit de Boeck, a detention and deportation specialist at CIRE. He highlights the injustice of the detention system, explaining that when someone is sent to prison it is the decision of a judge, but when someone is sent to a detention center it is the decision of civil servants. 

The Belgian government makes an effort to respect the rights of detainees, although conditions are not ideal. Upon arrival at the center, detainees must be informed of the reasons for their detention and their rights in a language they understand. Detainees are entitled to daily visits from their relatives, diplomatic officials from their country of origin, and from tutors. However, vulnerable individuals, such as pregnant women, the elderly, and the ill, are still sent to detention centers without any special provisions. 

If detainees feel that their rights have been violated, they are entitled to lodge a complaint within five days of the incident. However, according to de Boeck, the number of claims is relatively low, and those treated are even less. If a claim is made after the five day period it is not investigated, and once an individual leaves the detention center his or her claim is no longer valid. 

The government has shown interest in investigating potential reforms for its detention regime. In 2007 the Minister of Home Affairs requested a report on alternatives to detention for families with children. A year later, an open accommodation system of maisons de retour was established for undocumented families with children. The government assigns each family a social worker to advise them on legal possibilities for stay, as well as prepare them for potential return to their country of origin. In 2008, at the request of the parliament, the federal ombudsman conducted exhaustive research into the functioning and living conditions in detention centers, publishing its findings in 2009. The report was critical of poor living conditions and included recommendations which the government has slowly begun to adopt. Although improvements are being made in detention centers, the detention policy itself is likely to continue, as indicated by the recent completion of a new detention center in 2010. 

Many of the recent changes in Belgian detention policy resulted from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rulings, which has issued eight condemnations on aspects of the Belgian detention regime. A well-known example is the 2006 Tabitha case. An unaccompanied 5-year-old girl from Congo who was on the way to join her mother in Canada was detained for two months without a legal guardian and then deported. The ECHR condemned this practice, which in turn led to the creation of a guardian service for unaccompanied minors in an undocumented situation. 

NGOs in Belgium have access to detention centers, and they are major advocates for change. CIRE is one such NGO that organizes visits to detention centers to monitor conditions and meet with detainees. De Boeck says that NGOs like CIRE have little influence on government policy, but one of the most important roles they can fulfill is increasing public awareness. He also suggests increased cooperation between immigration and refugee NGOs across Europe, and with organizations in the countries refugees and immigrants are coming from. 

“There is no miracle solution,” laments de Boeck. “Detention is an unjust measure. We could detain undocumented foreigners at a four star hotel, but as long as they are being detained the core problem remains.”

Sweden

Indeed, the core problem is detention itself, as the Swedish case demonstrates. In fact, the Swedish model for detention of irregular migrants is often cited as an example of an effective, yet humane way of enforcing immigration law. In particular, the accommodation of children and women is shown as an example of progressive detention spaces because the rooms not only include bathrooms but the buildings also have game rooms, computer and TV rooms, a laundry and a library. There are even nurse rooms and gyms that may be used under supervision. These accommodations resemble what is commonly known in Sweden as “Group Homes,” often used for the disabled, drug rehabilitation, juvenile justice and now for children and mothers released from detention. Yet, detention of vulnerable irregular migrants has not always followed this format, nor does it eliminate the problems that emerge from detention.

Until 1997, the police were responsible for removing undesirable non-citizens from Sweden. Deportable individuals were detained in police custody and the government hired private security firms to facilitate their removal. This process generated several violent incidents and public criticism quickly arose in light of inhumane treatment allegations. In October of 1997, the Swedish government assigned the Migration Board to assume the responsibility for immigration policy enforcement. The treatment of detainees, however, did not improve as expected and the Swedish Church, NGOs and political organizations protested across the nation in November 2005, eventually forcing the Swedish parliament to implement a selective regularization program that helped restructure the system.

The Swedish Migration Board is part of the Ministry of Justice and endeavors to separate the “administrative detention of irregular immigrants” from criminal procedures. However, Shahram Khosravi, a social anthropologist from the University of Stockholm, explains that what is brutal about the confinement of asylum seekers is precisely that these persons are not held on criminal charges but rather on their claim to be at risk of persecution. Yet, the migration regime adopts an approach based on “penality,” targeting undesirable non-citizens as a criminal population to be policed and excluded. Thus, regardless of the formal distinction between criminals and irregular migrants, the material management of their cases remains equally drastic and exclusionary. 

The asylum granting procedure is also unfair and vulnerable to multiple cultural biases. Khosravi wrote in 2009 that about 95 percent of the detainees are asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected and are awaiting deportation. Khosravi noted that “the process of assessing asylum applications is subject to systemic error”, particularly to language analysis used to verify the origin of refugees since one out of ten is faulty.

In contrast to other European countries where security personnel manage detention centers, Sweden emphasizes detention practices as a social service rather than a security matter (Swedish Migration Board 2009a, p.37; Winiarski 2004). However, the Aliens Act of 2005 provides a legal framework for detaining non-citizens that contains specific provisions for dealing with unrest among detained persons, including the possibility of placing adult detainees in isolation, in police facilities, or correctional institutions (Aliens Act 2005, Ch.11, Section 7; Ch.10, Section 20). Thus, while the Swedish system may seem like a more lenient and humane way of dealing with undesirable citizens when contrasted to the detention systems in The Netherlands and Belgium, it is not necessarily more progressive. 

Although some detainees are released under supervision instead of remaining within the detention center, the rationale behind this system is merely economic. Because holding a person in a detention center costs €345 a day (of which only ­€2 are given to the detainee) all undeportable detainees are released (Khosravi 2009). The undeportable are non-citizens whose deportation may be unfeasible due to the conditions in the country of origin, an inability to obtain a passport, uncertainty about which is the country of origin or the country of origin refuses to accept deportees. The inhumane aspect of these conditions is the limbo in which the undeportable are placed, with neither the right to work nor access to the welfare system.

Despite the Migration Board’s emphasis on the humane treatment of detainees, there are still broad and systematic violations of human rights in detention centers and during deportations. For instance, Khosravi writes that “detainees who attempt suicide are transferred to police custody, where they are put in a harsher environment with a restricted visiting policy, or even in solitary confinement”. This treatment, she argues, is an additional punishment that portrays attempted suicides as faked and ”self-destructive actions intended to manipulate the deportation process and increase the likelihood of being granted asylum”.  In light of this treatment one cannot but wonder, why would someone attempt a suicide? Is it enough to claim that these centers provide humane treatment, or is the concept of detention inhuman in its own right, so much so that it becomes literally unbearable for some detainees?

When we asked Flavia Dzodan why she thought Sweden had a much more lenient treatment of detainees than The Netherlands, she commented that one of the major reasons for inhumane treatment is anti-black racism. While all migrants in The Netherlands may be referred to as alochton, there are western and non-western alochtons. “And of course there are continents from which people are always considered non-western alochtons” and who become disproportionately criminalized across the EU if rejected asylum or undocumented. “These people are all people of color.” Thus, Dzodan’s depiction may be correct after all, since the populations that Sweden detains as undesirable non-citizens are mainly coming from the former Soviet bloc, the Balkans and Iraq. While her claim would need to be systematically explored by sociologists, we considered it sensible to understand the current environment of detention and stringent immigration enforcement in The Netherlands as partially informed by contemporary racist and xenophobic messages.  

Detention Centers Today: Abolition or Continued Xenophobia? 

The detention system in The Netherlands lacks transparency when compared with Belgium and Sweden, and this limits possibilities of awareness and activism for change. Individuals are unaware of government policies, NGOs have little access to closed detention centers, and Amnesty International reports point out that the Dutch government has failed to establish a legal framework to supervise detention centers. Under the Optional Protocol to the International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, states are advised to carry out comprehensive inspections of all centers where people are deprived of their liberty. In The Netherlands, such inspections have not yet been carried out and Amnesty International continues to demand that the country ratifies the treaty and establishes mechanisms to live up to the document’s expectations as set out by the international community.  

We continually encountered this transparency roadblock while conducting our research. One individual we spoke to revealed that everyone working on the problem of detention centers knows certain information about poor living conditions and lack of medical access, but no one is willing to go on the record with it. This means there is actually very little information available to the public about conditions inside detention centers. “I considered getting a job there as a cleaner, just to have access and experience the day to day” said Dzodan. While detainees in Belgium are able to invite human rights organizations as part of their personal visitors, such invitations are not possible in The Netherlands. News of human rights violations in detention centers occasionally does reach the public, but they have not contributed toward reform or public demonstrations. As we experienced during our four hour long trip to the Schiphol detention center, the geographical location contributes to the public’s inability to see or act upon these injustices. 

An example of the public’s indifference toward the criminalization of migrants became evident after the 2005 fire that killed eleven people at the Schiphol detention center. In a situation like this, says Dzodan, the government has two options. “The authorities can either acknowledge that detention centers are costing human lives and change the policy, or say this incident was a mistake that won’t happen again, which results in no real change”. In addition to the lack of transparency, Dzodan suggests that there is a willing public ignorance of the detention policy because “no one wants to admit that the state is doing this on their behalf” because that would signify tacit complicity.  

In The Netherlands, NGOs have heavily criticized the detention system and some critical politicians have focused on the poor conditions of the facilities themselves. But by simply campaigning for more humane conditions and respect for human rights in detention centers, people may subconsciously perpetuate the racist and xenophobic attitudes that allow for detention in the first place, which may be at the heart of the problem. 

What may be at stake, then, is not whether The Netherlands incorporates “more humane” treatment of detainees but whether it engages in immediate immigration and asylum policy reform. Immigration controls, writes Teresa Hayter, a writer and activist on migration and anti-racism issues, originate in, and pander to, racism. In a 2000 publication, Hayter commented that in Britain the first immigration controls against “aliens” occurred in 1905. Only after 1962 did the first controls against Commonwealth citizens appear and were introduced in response to agitation by racist and far right groups. Governments appeared to believe, Hayter writes, that the way to defeat the racists is to adopt their policies while at the same time winning their votes. 

The same may be happening today in The Netherlands with rhetoric such as that used by Geert Wilders and the Freedom Party (PVV). This rhetoric asserts that immigration causes huge problems for Dutch society (integration, crime, cost of welfare benefits, etc.), therefore it is more than justified that family reunification for non-westerners should stop for a period of at least five years. According to the PVV, this moratorium on immigration for non-westerners is urgent and should be implemented immediately with a parliamentary majority. To ensure that a massive problematic influx of migrants does not take place after the temporary immigration halt, the shortcomings caused by the lack of immigration supervision should be resolved with more stringent regulations.  

Politicians, like those in the PVV, now claim to be tough on migrants and to be able to stop them from coming into the country. These narratives adopt the language of “social cohesion,” which is a nebulous goal that feeds from the populace’s fear. Yet, far from appeasing racists and the far right, border controls with draconian immigration laws have legitimated these groups as these policies spread across Europe. As a result, border controls turn immigrants into scapegoats, criminalize them and demonize them. As such, Hayter writes, “one of the best ways of countering racism would be to explain that immigration controls are not necessary, and abolish them.”  

Clearly, existing detention policies violate human rights, and change is necessary to respect the rights of all individuals, regardless of their citizenship status. Flavia Dzodan and Benoit de Boeck both spoke of increasing public awareness on the injustice of detention policies in order to mobilize the critical mass necessary to effect change. Activists propose various solutions, from ameliorating conditions within detention centers, to abolishing detention centers, to allowing free movement of people. Dzodan calls for “massive immigration reform re-considering the notions of national borders” while de Boeck claimed that a utopian solution would be “freedom of movement for all people throughout the world”. Dzodan posed the question: “why are goods and money allowed free transit while the people who produce them are not allowed to follow suit?” 

Indeed, changing immigration policy toward a more just system requires a radical rethinking of residency, citizenship, and borders. However, while those debates are ongoing, basic human rights must be protected through alternatives to detention, such as the maisons de retour in Belgium, or “group homes” and supervision of released detainees in Sweden. As Dzodan pointed out, change may not be immediate or even within our lifetimes, but as activists we must raise awareness to critical levels that eventually facilitate immigration reform and perhaps border abolition. In other words, human rights violations are occurring a few hours away and behind walls and wired fences, like the ones we experienced at the Schiphol detention center in Amsterdam. These circumstances demand that all citizens begin to discuss, if not actively challenge, what detention centers mean, for the detainees and for everyone on whose behalf these violations are enacted.    

References

Personal Interviews

de Boeck, Benoit, Detention and Deportation Specialist, Coordination et Initiatives pour Réfugiés et Etrangeres. Phone interview. June 20, 2012. 

Dzodan, Flavia, Independent writer. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. June 20, 2012. 

Ederveen, Rian, “Vreemdelingendetentie Meldpunt” employee. Phone interview. June 20, 2012 

Middelkoop, Louis, Former detention center intern. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. June 19, 2012. 

Spliet, Lieselot,  policy officer in the Migration Policy Department at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. Email communication. June 21, 2012. 

Articles and Reports

Amnesty International. 2012. “Netherlands: Protecting human rights at home”. Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review May-June 2012.
Available at: http://www.amnesty.nl/sites/default/files/public/1112_nederland.pdf

Amnesty International. 2011. “Vreemdelingendetentie in Nederland: het moet en kan anders”
Available at: http://www.amnesty.nl/sites/default/files/public/1110_vreemdelingendet.pdf

Hayter, Teresa. 2000. Open borders: the case against immigration controls. London: Pluto Press.

Justitia et Pax. 2012. “Effect door respect: alternatieven voor vreemdelingenbewaring in Nederland”
Available at: http://www.justitiaetpax.nl/userfiles/file/Nederland/Rapport%20alternatieven%20detentie%20januari%202012%20definitief.pdf

Khosravi, Shahram. 2009. "Sweden: detention and deportation of asylum seekers". Race and Class. 50 (4): 38-56.

Van Dijk, Jola. 2012. “Opsluiten niet de oplossing”
Available at: http://www.sp.nl/nieuws/tribune/201201/vreemdelingendetentie.shtml

“Blaze kills 11 in Schiphol deportee jail”, 27 October 2005. The New York Times. 
Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/27/world/europe/27iht-schiphol.html

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