Submission to the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in preparation for a Draft General Comment No. 5 on Migrants’ Right to Liberty and Freedom from Arbitrary Detention

This submission urges the Committee to clearly recognize that any deprivation of liberty resulting from discriminatory laws, regulation and policies or their discriminatory application is by definition arbitrary and breaches the right of equal protection before the law. Discriminatory laws, policies and regulations addressing migration and beyond have a disproportionate negative impact on migrant women, adolescents, sex workers, people living with HIV, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex persons, persons with disabilities, and anyone who is perceived to have transgressed sexual and gender norms. In the context of migration and detention, such individuals and groups are more likely to suffer compounded rights violations. As a result, States cannot hold them in detention in relation to migratory measures and must always provide alternatives to detention.