IAWG Header

An inter-agency working group to end child immigration detention.

March 2014, the IAWG to end child immigration dentention was launched with the aim to put an end to child immigration detention and to cooperate in order to “completely and expeditiously” assist states in ending the practice of child immigration detention, consistent with existing human rights obligations.

How was it set up ?

Beginning with the March 2012 session of the UN Human Rights Council, child and migrant rights advocates, with the support of the International Detention Coalition (IDC) and OHCHR, launched the Global Campaign to End the Immigration Detention of Children. This campaign has now been endorsed by over 90 organisations in more than 40 countries, and continues to grow.

In September 2012, at the Committee on the Rights of the Child’s (CRC Committee) states were called upon to “expeditiously and completely” cease the immigration detention of children and their parents, and to adopt alternatives to detention (ATD) that fulfill the best interests of the child and allow children to remain with their family members and/or guardians in non-custodial, community-based contexts while their immigration status is being resolved.

In March 2014, at the UN Human Rights Council, involved organisations explored “A Global Strategy to End Child Immigration Detention”, and agreed to form an Inter-Agency Working Group to End Child Immigration Detention (“IAWG”).

What does the IAWG seek ?

  • To network and share information around ending child immigration detention;
  • To conduct joint and/or coordinated advocacy around ending child immigration detention, including by advocating to individual states, to regional bodies, and/or global forums;
  • To mutually develop and support campaigns to end child immigration detention;
  • To conduct and disseminate research related to child immigration detention;
  • To build the capacity of states, inter-governmental bodies and civil society to effectively end child immigration detention and implement non-custodial, community-based ATD.

Find here the IAWG core position

The Inter-Agency Working Group to End Child Immigration Detention is comprised of UN, intergovernmental and civil society organizations, including: Human Rights Watch, International Detention Coalition, IOM, the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, the Office of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, OHCHR, PICUM, Terre des Hommes, UNHCR, and UNICEF.


Background Note & Terms of Reference

More Information

For more information on the IAWG to End Child Immigration Detention, contact Ben Lewis 

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