The arrest, detention and deportation (ADD) of migrants in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is widespread, and despite recent efforts by governments to regularise migrants and introduce formalised guidelines regulating ADD, the process remains ad hoc and frequently runs counter to human rights standards.
The gulf between policies and practice leave migrants at risk of arrest, detention and deportation, regardless of their registration status, and their experiences show that abuse, corruption and disregard for human dignity continues unabated.
In 2004 MMN commenced a collaborative research project on ADD in the GMS, starting with a symposium held in September 2004 to initiate dialogue with policy makers and civil society representatives. Over the course of 2005 and 2006, country research teams carried out research on ADD across the GMS, resulting in a list of regional recommendations and contributing to the publication of the 2008 resource book on ADD.
The MMN advocates for the reform of policies to avoid situations in which migrants are subject to ADD, as well as to ensure that migrants receive humanitarian treatment where ADD is unavoidable.
MMN launched the website focus on “Arrest, Detention and Deportation” on the occasion of International Migrants Day on 18 December 2012. The new ADD website provides the most up to date research findings, news and information resources relating to ADD. It also provides alerts about the most recent facts and figures surrounding the ADD of migrants in the region, including serious cases of rights violations, which are used to mobilize the network and civil society to take action and call upon those responsible to protect the rights of migrants.
The 2013 report aims to provide an in-depth and systematic analysis of ADD as experienced on the ground by migrants. Based on over 200 interviews with migrants, key officials and extensive secondary research, the research compares the policies and procedures in place to govern ADD and their implementation in practice. The report includes a series of recommendations addressed to the Royal Thai Government as well as the governments of migrants’ countries of origin.In June 2013 the MMN published a report on ADD policies and practices in Thailand, providing a situational update to the 2008 resource book, “Migration in the Greater Mekong Sub-region; In-depth Study: Arrest, Detention and Deportation”
The MMN hopes that this research will contribute to a growing pressure to end the human rights abuses that take place in the context of arrest, detention and deportation of migrant workers.