Council of Europe Launch


In 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 create practical change in Europe, where it is estimated that more than 40,000 children are detained every year.

It will launch on April 20 with  a “living library” event, but these “books” are not your usual library books…

People with personal experiences tell their story about ending child immigration detention.

They will be available for those at the Council of Europe to “borrow” for a conversation about the impacts of immigration detention on children, and the options available to avoid the use of immigration detention.


The experts speaking at this event include:

  • Anne Brasseur, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
  • Doris Fiala, the General Rapporteur on Ending Immigration Detention of Children
  • Antje Rothemund, Head of Youth Department of the Council of Europe
  • Niclas Axelsson, Swedish Migration Board
  • Jens Kraatz, Condrobs Housing Project for Young Refugees and Students
  • Leeanne Torpey, Global Campaign Coordinator
  • Pınar Aksu, Advocate detained as a child in the UK
  • Ms.Meltem Avcil, Advocate detained as a child in the UK
  • Sameer Hannan, Advocate detained in the Netherlands with his son
  • Martin Vegter, Defence for Children International, Netherlands


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, and is one of two organs dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and which oversees the European Court of Human Rights.


This is a follow-up to PACE’s report and resolution calling for alternatives to immigration detention for children last year.



Doris Fiala has recently been appointed as the General Rapporteur on Ending Immigration Detention of Children by the Council of Europe Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons.


Click here for a letter from Mr Mariani, Chairperson of the Committee expressing their support for the Campaign.


In supporting the campaign, the Committee will urge governments to undertake changes to law, policy and practice to ensure that children are never detained on the basis of their or their parents’ immigration status.


The event will take place at the Assembly Chamber’s lobby from midday 20 April and from 9am to 5pm 21 April.