Advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] warned [press release; report] Monday that there are “systemic failures, such as unreasonable delays in care and unqualified medical staff leading to “dangerously subpar” medical care in US immigration detention centers. The group expressed concerns about the Trump administration’s plans to detain an even higher number of immigrants, which HRW believes will result in more “needless and preventable deaths.” The group documented numerous incidents of “substandard and dangerous” medical care, including failure to follow up on symptoms that required attention; over-reliance on unqualified medical staff; delays in emergency responses and requests for medical care; and the misuse of solitary confinement for people with mental health conditions. According to the report, this type of substandard care contributed to seven of the 18 deaths in the detention centers.
The rights of refugee and migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issues around the world. In January the Slovenian parliament passed amendments [JURIST report] to the Aliens Act to enact emergency measures to deny refugees entry into the country and to expel those whom did not have their asylum claims properly assessed. Also in January US President Donald Trump [official profile] issued [JURIST report] an executive order restricting access to the US for refugees and visa holders from seven countries. In November experts questioned humanitarian conditions at Grecian migrant camps when a 66-year-old woman and six-year-old boy died [JURIST report] in a camp fire. In April 2016 several aid organizations urged [JURIST report] EU leaders to stop deportations of migrants from Greece to Turkey and to stop detaining asylum seekers. Also in April 2016 HRW reported [JURIST report] that the first deportation of 66 people from the Greek island of Chios to Turkey was “riddled with an array of irregularities.”