A UN Expert has found that the immigration detention of children is a violation of child rights, and is “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” condemned by the international prohibition on torture, according to a groundbreaking report published by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Méndez.
This report explores child protection standards and frameworks within immigration detention, to shield children from torture, ill-treatment and experiencing harmful conditions. It finds that detained children are at a heightened risk of torture and ill-treatment due to their unique vulnerability and needs.
According to some key conclusions of the Special Rapporteur’s report;
- Detention of children should be used only for the shortest possible period of time, only if it is in the best interest of the child, and limited to exceptional cases.
- States should adopt alternatives to detention for children whenever possible.
- No immigration detention (detention of children based on migration status is never in the best interests of child, is grossly disproportionate, and constitutes ill-treatment).
- Special attention should be paid to children deprived of their liberty in health- and social-care institution