The fundamental conflict between immigration detention and the right to health: an exploration of gender and vulnerability

Thumbnail Image
Kennedy, Laura
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Immigration detention is a global practice, fraught with human rights abuse and subject to much criticism. Punitive in nature, the detention of migrants for administrative purposes has dire consequences, primarily the failure to respect the right to health of detainees. Constructed through an androcentric lens and largely housing male migrants, the structures of immigration detention fail to consider the unique health needs of women. The pervasive themes of vulnerability, indignity, and lack of autonomy for female detainees will be explored, and the barriers to the realisation of mental, physical, and social health will be discussed. Parallels will be drawn between panopticism, biopolitics, and the legal and normative frameworks that govern immigration detention structures, and emphasis on the importance of an intersectional approach will be addressed. Ultimately, the inherently contradictory nature of immigration detention in terms of realising the right to health will be discussed, and alternatives to detention will be examined.
Second semester University: Maastricht University
immigrants, detention, right to health, women, gender discrimination