Many parliamentarians across Europe have a right to visit detention centres for irregular migrants and asylum seekers as part of their mandate as national parliamentarians. Yet a survey conducted by the Parliamentary Assembly has shown that this right is not always known to parliamentarians or used to its full capacity.

The Committee on Migration, refugees and displaced persons therefore decided to develop a guide to raise awareness of this right and encourage and assist parliamentarians in carrying out visits to detention centres:

  • clarifying the right of parliamentarians to undertake such visits and explaining why it is important for parliamentarians to carry out these visits;
  • introducing some of the basic monitoring principles and methodology to be followed in visiting places of detention. This will include the steps for carrying out visits (preparation, conduct and follow up of a visit);
  • introducing some of the key issues and areas that should be examined during monitoring visits to places of immigration detention.

Watch "Forgotten Places: Parliamentarians visiting immigration detention centres" (video also available in French, Italian, German and Russian)