Children First and Foremost

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Campaign to End Child Detention held a candlelight vigil and panel in New York along side the UN General Assembly. Program here.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which monitors implementation of the treaty has called for an end to child and family detention:

“… The detention of a child because of their or their parents’ migration status constitutes a child rights violation and always contravenes the principle of the best interests of the child. In this light, States should expeditiously and completely cease the detention of children on the basis of their immigration status.”

The United States and other governments continue to violate children’s rights by detaining and deporting parents and creating family detention centers.



PRESS RELEASE: Child Detainees Unable to Celebrate International Child Rights Day

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – Advocates will gather in front of the United Nations for a candle light vigil in support of children’s rights. While many celebrate today to mark the 25th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, there are hundreds of thousands who cannot.

Every day, all around the world, millions of children are affected by immigration detention. Whether detained themselves or impacted by the detention of their parents or guardians, children are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect.

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This video was played at the event, it portrays the experiences of irregular migrants attempting to cross the southern border of the United States.



This video was played at the event, it is an insightful infographic that outlines the global problems of immigration detention.



This video was produced by Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC). It is a multimedia project that provides children and their parents in U.S. immigration detention with an opportunity to share their stories and their drawings.


The groups involved in this event included:

  • American Friends Services Committee
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration
  • Detention Watch Network
  • DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center
  • First Friends of New Jersey & New York
  • Families for Freedom
  • Haiti Solidarity Network NE. (HSNNE)
  • Immigrant Defense Project
  • International Detention Coalition
  • Justice Strategies
  • Loretto at the UN
  • New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC
  • Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
  • Reformed Church of Highland Park
  • Terre Des Hommes – Destination Unknown
  • United Methodist Women
  • We Belong Together Campaign
  • Women’s Refugee Commission