Repatriation, detention and deportation
Myria ensures that the human rights of detained foreigners are respected in situations of deportation or re-entry. To achieve this, we have been given access to places where foreign nationals are detained i.e. detention centres and INAD centres (short for “inadmissible”). We also have the right to be informed by the Complaints Commission of any complaint made by a detained foreign national.
Foreigners who do not or no longer meet the conditions required to legally stay in Belgium may be issued with a removal order from the Immigration Office (ordre de quitter le territoire, OQT). This administrative decision may or may not specify a time-frame in which the foreigner must leave the country, and it may be include a temporary ban from the Schengen area. People who have received OQTs can leave the country voluntarily or via deportation arranged by detention centre authorities.
There are two ways of leaving a country voluntarily:
- Voluntary departure: the person decides on their own initiative, without assistance or the aid of an escort, to leave the country;
- Assisted voluntary departure: the person is assisted and accompanied by organizations such as the Catholic organization Caritas, the international Organization for Migration, or the Immigration Office.
The foreigner who has been ordered to leave the country can also be deported by authorities and held in detention:
- if they are being deported: they are refused entry to Belgium as soon as they arrive at the border;
- if they are arrested in the country while living as an illegal resident and they have failed to comply with the OQT in the set time period or if they were given a OQT with no time allowance.
Deportations can be arranged with or without an escort, depending on whether the foreigner puts up resistance when they leave. When an escort is involved, the process is referred to as forcible return or repatriation. The General Police Inspectorate, both federal and local, is responsible for monitoring the level of force and self-restraint shown by the escorts carrying out the deportation.
Detention facilities for foreigners
As part of processing a foreigner’s deportation, the Immigration Office can detain a foreigner (also referred to as administrative detention) in one of 5 detention centres:
- the Caricole transit centre: located in Melsbroek, next to the Zaventem airport
- the detention centre 127a : located in Steenokkerzeel, next to the Zaventem airport
- the Vottem centre for illegal immigrants
- the Merksplas centre for illegal immigrants
- the Bruges centre for illegal immigrants
or one of the 5 INAD centres at the Charleroi, Bierset, Deurne, Ostende and Wevelgem airports (only in cases of deportation) ;
or in an alternative detention facility, referred to as a maison de retour (only if the family has small children).
Note that the Immigration Office can also detain certain types of asylum seekers (foreigners seeking asylum at the border, groups of asylum seekers, asylum seekers subject to the Dublin procedure)
Myriadoc 10: Belgium, on the road to the United Kingdom
In this publication, Myria focusses on transit migration, and specifically on transit migrants who want to get to the United Kingdom.
2019 Annual report trafficking and smuggling of human beings
Justice for human trafficking victims has a long way to go. With its annual report, Myria wants to contribute to their empowerment and has put together concrete recommendations for the attention of public authorities.
[Brochure] Family reunification with beneficiaries of international protection in Belgium
This brochure explains the family reunification procedure for beneficiaries of international protection in Belgium. The latest update is from autumn 2019
Socio-demographic profile and socio-economic careers of people granted international protection in Belgium, 2001-2014
What is the socio-demographic profile and the socio-economic careers of people who obtained a status of international protection in Belgium? The Belgian Contactpoint of the European Migration Network (EMN) publishes a study on labour market participation of beneficiaries of international protection. The research was done by the demographic research centre DEMO (UCLouvain) in cooperation with Myria.
2018 Annual report trafficking and smuggling of human beings
Myria, the National independent rapporteur on human trafficking assesses in its latest report the detection, reception and support of child victims of human trafficking. According to the findings of Myria Nigerian minors are a particularly vulnerable group.
Priority to the best interests of the child: checklist
Myria presents the list below as a tool to better enable decision-makers and practitioners to consider the best interests of the child, and jurisdictions to better identify and take action against any possible shortcomings.