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The Long Route Towards a Widespread European Culture of Alternatives to Immigration Detention

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The aim of this article is to provide an analysis of the application by some European Union countries of alternative measures to detention of migrants. Sections 2 and 3 indicate, in line with European normatives and with detention being a measure of last resort, that Member States having ascertained that there are grounds for the detention of migrants, should evaluate whether the aims pursued can be achieved through a less coercive measure which respects the fundamental rights of individuals. Unfortunately, as examined in Section 4, analysis of most European countries’ law reveals an unsatisfactory application of alternative measures to detention. As in, for example, Italy’s case, whose legislation and practice on alternatives to detention is examined in Section 5. In Section 6, the final section, the necessity for a change of culture among the competent authorities is highlighted. For this purpose, the recast Receptions Conditions Directive, which obliges Member States to provide alternative measures to detention of migrants, allowing States to introduce types of measures which are not listed in the Directive, seems to represent a good opportunity.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Law, University of Palermo Piazza Via Maqueda 172, 90134 PalermoItaly


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