A Global Path to End Child Detention Posted September 21, 2016

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end_child_detention_bookletThe Inter-Agency Working Group to End Child Detention (IAWG), an international alliance which assist States to “completely and expeditiously” end the practice of child immigration detention and of which Terre des Hommes is Institutional Partner, has presented two new resources to strengthen advocacy efforts promoting the use of alternatives to detention:

  • Booklet which provides an overview on child detention: it explains why the children are on the move, why the States detain them, why data on detained children are limited, how child health and well-being is negatively affected by detention, why the latter is a violation of child rights, finally exploring solutions to implement alternatives and cease the immigration detention of children
  • Summary of normative and policy developments: it reflects the growing acknowledgment from UN and Regional Human Rights bodies that the immigration detention of any child constitute a clear child rights violation as it is never in the best interests of the child, exceed the requirement of necessity, becomes grossly disproportionate and may constitute cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of children on the move.

These resources are an important tool to keep the issue of ending child immigration detention on the global agenda, especially now that the New York Declaration, adopted at the High Level Summit (HLS) of the UN General Assembly on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, marked a step backwards:

despite the commitment from all States to work towards the ending of this practice, the paragraph 33 of the New York Declaration states that detention for children can be used as a measure of last resort, thus allowing governments to continue to detain them.

This is unsatisfying outcome and Terre des Hommes will keep advocating with its partners the end of child detention and the protection of the rights of children on the move to ensure that they are considered as children, first and foremost.

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