UN experts : "we have to stop child detention"

13.06.2017 - A group of UN human rights experts urges states to "stop placing children and families in immigration detention".

"Governments should stop placing children and families in immigration detention", a group of UN human rights experts said in a call to mark International Migrants’ Day on 18 December 2017.

In their statement, they report being worried about the practices they observe in certain countries. "We are concerned that some States appear to be working on the erroneous assumption that detention is sometimes in the best interests of the child. [...] Let us be clear: immigration detention is never in the best interests of the child."

"The detention of children has been increasing amid rhetoric and policies that seek to criminalise undocumented migrants, including children. However, there is never a justification for such detention."

Their conclusion is unequivocal: "States need to have their priorities clear: the protection of children and youth and the principle of family unity are more important than the protection of borders."

We are concerned that some States appear to be working on the erroneous assumption that detention is sometimes in the best interests of the child or that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which allows for detention as an exceptional measure in the juvenile justice context, somehow permits it. We are similarly concerned about attempts to justify immigration detention as an important measure to reduce the occurrence of children running away once in a transit or destination country. This notion is neither child rights-compliant nor evidence-based.

Let us be clear: immigration detention is never in the best interests of the child.

- See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21026&LangID=E#sthash.UvXKU3wj.dpuf

We are concerned that some States appear to be working on the erroneous assumption that detention is sometimes in the best interests of the child or that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which allows for detention as an exceptional measure in the juvenile justice context, somehow permits it. We are similarly concerned about attempts to justify immigration detention as an important measure to reduce the occurrence of children running away once in a transit or destination country. This notion is neither child rights-compliant nor evidence-based.

Let us be clear: immigration detention is never in the best interests of the child.

- See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21026&LangID=E#sthash.UvXKU3wj.dpuf

We are concerned that some States appear to be working on the erroneous assumption that detention is sometimes in the best interests of the child or that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which allows for detention as an exceptional measure in the juvenile justice context, somehow permits it. We are similarly concerned about attempts to justify immigration detention as an important measure to reduce the occurrence of children running away once in a transit or destination country. This notion is neither child rights-compliant nor evidence-based.

Let us be clear: immigration detention is never in the best interests of the child.

- See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21026&LangID=E#sthash.UvXKU3wj.dpuf

A campaign by

Unicef
Mineurs en exil

In collaboration with

Caritas
Ciré
Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen
JRS