Becoming Vulnerable in Detention

17 April 2013|JRS Europe|Reports and publications


Published in June 2010, and based on interviews with 685 asylum seekers and irregular migrants detained in 23 EU countries. The report is the main result of JRS Europe’s “DEVAS project” (Detention of Vulnerable Asylum Seekers in Europe), co-financed by the European Commission. Its main conclusion is that detention deteriorates the physical and mental health of nearly everyone who experiences it. Symptoms related to severe depress and anxiety, as well as insomnia, loss of appetite and migraines, are frequently reported. The negative effects of detention are found to be related to how well one is informed about immigration procedures, detainees’ connections to support in the outside world, and the time length of detention.