Cover of the press release "No detention for refugees minor"

Refugee minor in Lampedusa

On the occasion of the World Refugee Day on 20th June, terre des hommes Germany calls for the Federal government of Germany and the European Union to speak out and act against severe violations of human rights against children.

“Every day, tens of thousands of children and teenagers are detained without reason whilst fleeing.” These figures were calculated by Terre des Hommes, as part of its international campaign, Destination Unknown, to protect children on the move.

“Of the estimated 44 million refugees around the world, nearly half are children or minors under the age of 18. They should not be imprisoned; they need protection and intensive support,” says Sonja Welp, Terre des Hommes expert on children’s rights.

She reports the situation in Lybia : “(…) children fleeing from war-torn countries such as Eritrea, Somalia or Syria are detained in inhumane conditions. This often happens in order to force parents to pay for their children’s release. Young people detained in the First Reception Centre in Lampedusa told the Terre des Hommes staff who supported them that they were beaten and humiliated in Libyan prisons. Some were even tortured”.

In Germany, the detention of refugee minors for deportation is also legally permitted as a “last resource”, though seldom practised. The CDU and SPD political parties announced to terre des hommes Germany their wish to put an end to this practice. terre des hommes calls on the ruling parties to act consistently and make it illegal to detain refugee minors for the purpose of deportation.


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