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At a Swedish detention center, asylum seekers await their fate as staff members struggle to find a balance between the strict rules of their workplace and their empathetic impulses. With great sensibility to its characters and environment, DETAINED depicts the psychological stresses faced in modern detention centers and questions this crucial, global phenomenon.

Director: Shaon Chakraborty, Anna Persson
Year: 2015
Time: 99 min

(2015) on IMDb

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Most Countries: Vimeo
Sweden: Vodeville
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Ways to Influence

Share this film! Give others the chance to learn about what’s happening in Sweden and use the film as a tool to start a conversation with the people around you. 

Support the Global Detention Project that was established in 2005 to research the use of detention centers for asylum seeker with the aim of maintaining transparency. 

Support The UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency), who plays an active role in championing refugee rights, including implementing a strategy entitled “Beyond Detention” in 2014. 

Learn about your country’s regulations regarding refugee detention. If you yourself are an asylum seeker, there are national organizations providing assistance and information. A few examples: U.S., U.K., Australia.

Donate to the Red Cross and/or Save the Children that work directly with refugees as they make the perilous journey to a place of safety. 

Engage with a local advocacy group (or start your own) supporting the rights of refugees and migrants.

Related Articles and Resources

Sweden Immigration Detention

“For many years, Sweden was lauded for its comparatively humane treatment of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers. However, reflecting a wave of get-tough policies announced by other European countries in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, in early 2016 Sweden announced that it was introducing new border controls and planning to deport an estimated 80,000 non-citizens who fail to qualify for refugee status.”

Find out more on Global Detention Project.

Beyond Detention

“A Global Strategy to support governments to end the detention of asylum-seekers and refugees”

Find out more on UNHCR.

Migration to Europe Explained in Seven Charts

“More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, sparking a crisis as countries struggled to cope with the influx, and creating division in the EU over how best to deal with resettling people.”

Learn more on BBC.

Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth

“Little Sweden has taken in far more refugees per capita than any country in Europe. But in doing so, it’s tearing itself apart.”

Read the article on Foreign Policy.

What’s the Difference Between Immigrant and Refugee?

“The Central Americans crossing the U.S. border in massive waves have been described as immigrants or refugees. The distinction is significant and could determine whether the migrants are subject to deportation to their home country or eligible to remain in the United States under asylum.”

Find out what the difference is on CNN.

No One Is Illegal

The No One is Illegal Network (Ingen människa är illegal in Swedish) works  to provide practical support to people who are forced to live undocumented after having had their applications for asylum refused.

Learn more here.


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