PICUM, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants

While there are no exact figures of the numbers of undocumented people in Europe, the most recent and credible estimates are a decade old and suggest that there could be between 2-4 million people with irregular migration status. Estimates also show that more than 100,000 people are placed in detention every year purely because of their migration status. This group includes children, families and individuals who are already vulnerable due to physical or mental health problems and psychological traumas.

States place migrants in detention, often for repeated or extended periods of time, as a means to facilitate and organize their deportation. If return does not appear to be possible, states extend the detention period. Detention continues to be used despite evidence that imprisoning people is harmful to their health and that there is no evidence that longer period of detentions lead to increased rates of returns. Their vulnerability increases, even after short periods of detention. This is why children and people who are already in a vulnerable position should not be detained.

PICUM is a consortium of organizations that focus on social justice and human rights for undocumented people. It aims to create more respect for the human rights of undocumented migrants in Europe. The organization aims to ensure that fewer people are placed in detention in Europe because of their migration status and that the EU member states set up alternatives to closed detention centers allowing people to remain in local communities. Pilot programs have shown that alternative types of shelter and counseling provided by local social organizations are much less expensive and are more effective and humane.

Adessium’s support to PICUM stems from our commitment to achieving a more humane and sustainable asylum and migration policy in Europe, including reducing and ultimately ending the use of the instrument of detention as well as PICUM’s contribution to guaranteeing access to basic necessities for undocumented people.

About this partner

PICUM, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, is a network of organizations that are committed to ensuring social justice and human rights protection for undocumented migrants.
PICUM provides support for members engaging in public discourse on the subject and helps them turn observations about current social issues into opportunities for lobbying. PICUM shares its knowledge, analyses and data to make this information easily accessible to policymakers, reporters, students and other interested parties. PICUM uses facts to advocate for solution-based and humane policy change in various countries.

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