Malaysia: A joint collaboration to enhance health care in immigration detention

The Immigration Department of Malaysia recently hosted a small ceremony to commemorate handing over of medical equipment by the ICRC. The equipment will benefit detainees in six Immigration Detention Centres (IDC) and marks a significant milestone in the ICRC's collaboration with the Immigration Department and the Ministry of Health's efforts to ensure access to adequate primary healthcare in detention. Present at the event were the new Director General of Immigration, Dato' Sri Haji Mustafar Bin Haji Ali, his deputies, key senior staff as well as relevant State Directors and Commandants of the six IDCs.

At the Director General's suggestion, the ICRC and the Immigration Department agreed to form a strategic alliance which would address three specific areas of collaboration:

  • enhancing primary health care provision in IDCs ;
  • strengthen the protection dialogue, through regular meetings and exchanges to address, confidentially, issues pertaining to conditions and treatment of detainees and
  • include the ICRC in trainings to Immigration staff in order to reinforce awareness and knowledge about rules and standards applicable in detention settings.

Speaking to Director General of Immigration Department Dato’ Sri Haji Mustafar Bin Haji Ali (left) and Dr Nik Jasmin Mahir from the Ministry of Health (right), the ICRC head of regional delegation, Isabelle Barras (centre) reiterated ICRC commitment to support the Immigration Department in its efforts to provide adequate healthcare in detention.