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Today marks a historic commitment.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is launching the Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children.It marks the beginning of two years of work to end a grievous violation of human rights in Europe, where it is estimated that more than 40,000 children are detained every year.They join the growing chorus worldwide: innocent children do not deserve to be locked up.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is made up of 318 parliamentarians from the national parliaments of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states.Late last year PACE released a report and resolution calling for the prohibition of immigration detention of children. In doing this they seconded what researchers have already proved: that avoiding the use of detention saves money, avoids unnecessary complications, bring countries into line with international law and would ultimately be better for all of us.As a policy, locking up children has been wildly unsuccessful – despite dramatic increases in the use of detention, we are seeing all time highs for the number of people forced to leave their homes. The facts are clear – detention does not deter.At today’s launch event, people who were locked up as children will share their stories with parlimentarians, urging them to take national action. Here Amin describes his experience of detention:“It was a small world, the air was dark, my world was dark, I felt scared, I felt I was nobody, I was broken. In the detention centre everybody thinks they are nobody.”

It is time to close the chapter on this violation of child rights, and we welcome the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in taking action to make change.

Show your support for an end to this child rights violation in Europe:
sign the petition to support our campaign.