Due to the relatively closed nature of the system, there is very little publicly available data detailing the extent of sexual abuse in immigration detention centers. However, recently uncovered documents reveal nearly 200 official complaints of sexual abuse in detention facilities since 2007. This number is probably just the tip of the iceberg given that sexual abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the US.
Several egregious examples of abuse of LGBT detainees, including sexual and physical assault, prolonged isolation, and withholding of medical care, have been documented in two reports this year.
PHR Participates in Civil Society Consultation in Preparation for the US Review before the Committee Against Torture
Hans Hogrefe, PHR’s Chief Policy Officer, shared with the State Department detailed information about PHR’s work related to its Campaign Against Torture, including the problems facing women in immigration detention, the involvement of medical professionals in interrogations, and the importance of training medical professionals to recognize and document instances of torture and related abuse.
As the US immigration detention web rapidly expands, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) continues to document the existence of numerous problems within the system that harm and sometimes kill detainees.
The majority of immigrants detained by the Department of Homeland Security are not permitted to challenge the legality of their detention.