Alternatives to detention



Supervision is an alternative measure that may be used instead of detention.1 Authorities are obliged to consider other measures, such as supervision, before deciding on detention. Even though this is in principle always is done by the decision body, there have been concerns raised as to the lack of extensive and qualitative argumentation as to why inter alia supervision is not used instead of detention.2

Supervision entails regular reporting to the police or to the Migration Agency, depending on which authority is responsible or the decision. It may also entail surrendering passports or other identity documents.3 Supervision was used in 421 cases in 2015. Figures for 2016 are not available.

Similarly to detention, supervision in the asylum context is mainly applied in relation to applicants in Dublin procedures. In 2013, out of a total 405 third-country nationals subject to supervision, only 12 were asylum seekers under the accelerated procedure, while 90 were subject to supervision for the purposes of Dublin procedures that year. Only 20 children were placed under supervision, including 1 unaccompanied child.4 Figures for 2015 and 2016 with regard to grounds are not yet available.


  • 1. Ch. 10, Section 6 Aliens Act.
  • 2. Swedish Red Cross, Förvar under lupp. See also comparative study on use of alternatives to detention, where Sweden was one of the studied countries: Odysseus Network, Alternatives to immigration and asylum detention in the EU. Time for implementation, 2015, available at:
  • 3. Ch. 10, Section 8 Aliens Act.
  • 4. EMN, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in Sweden, 2014, 23-24.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti