Regulatory compliance and control

Holding in detention centres has a legal basis, namely the Royal Decree of 02/08/2002 and the Law of 15/12/1980, and must comply with international regulations in this area. Control is exercised at several levels by both national and international bodies.

At national level

The following bodies have the right to visit and may control and/or audit at any time in the detention centres

  • At federal level: the Federal Ombudsmen, the Federal Migration Centre (Myria) and the Parliament.
  • At community level: the Commissioner for Children's Rights.
  • At Department level (Federal Public Service Home Affairs); the Complaints Commission, which is provided for by law and established by the Minister of Home Affairs. This Commission is responsible for dealing with individual complaints from the residents of detention centres.
  • At the Immigration Office: the General Coordination and Control of the Centres Unit, placed under the direct supervision of the General Councilor in charge of the centres, ensures coordination between the closed centres themselves; between the closed centres and the enforcement services at the Immigration Office, and between the centres and third parties (organisations, institutions, individuals, etc.). This unit monitors the proper application of the Royal Decree of 2 August 2002 and of international standards regarding the reception and detention of foreign nationals with a view to their removal.
  • The management of the closed centres: the residents can complain directly to the Director of the centre within 24 hours.
  • Non-governmental organisations are accredited to visit the residents of detention centres and can question the Immigration Office on specific cases.

At international level

  • The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) which carries out visits every four years.
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
  • The European Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • The European Parliament.