Upcoming International Events Highlighting Child Detention

2016 is shaping up to be a critical year for States to commit to ending child detention.

There are three important events coming up, detailed below.

These events maintain the international pressure for States to commit to ending child detention.

Are you campaigning to end child detention in your country? Get in touch to discuss how this international momentum relates to your national work.


September 19

The United Nations General Assembly will host an important high-level meeting (HLM) on September 19 to address “large movements of refugees and migrants.” The HLM will be convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and held at the UNGA in New York. The HLM will be informed by the UN Secretary General’s recent report entitled “In safety and dignity: addressing large movements of refugees and migrants”.


Among other things, the report includes a central recommendation for States:


“To review border management and detention policies to ensure that the human rights of all those who arrive are upheld in line with international standards, consider alternatives to the detention of refugees and migrants and ensure that children, as a matter of principle, are never detained for purposes of immigration control;


The report further urges States to adopt alternatives to the detention of refugee and migrant children that are based on fulfilling the child’s best interests and which ensure child rights to liberty and family:


“I therefore call upon States to consider alternatives to detention for purposes of immigration control and to adopt a commitment never to detain children for this purpose…”


The report also signals a clear expectation that States take steps to end the practice of child immigration detention “expeditiously and completely” as called for by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2012.


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The GFMD and the People’s Global Action

The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), an initiative of United Nations Member States, will be hosted this year by Bangladesh from 10-12 December. It aims to address the migration and development interconnections in practical and action-oriented ways. It is an informal, non-binding, voluntary and government-led process that marks the culmination of more than a decade of international dialogue on the growing importance of the linkages between migration and development.

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Right before the GFMD the People’s Global Action (PGA) will take place, bringing together migrant associations, migrant rights organizations, trade unions, faith groups, academia and other civil society stakeholders from around the world to share information, dialogue, strengthen analyses and develop joint actions and campaigns on current and emerging issues related to migration.

This year’s event has a thematic focus on borders and detention, and ending child detention will be a focus of discussions and events. Are you campaigning to end child detention? Do you have some good practices to share?  Contribute to the discussion.


International Migrants Day

Ending Child Detention will be a focus of a webinar and social media campaign in the lead up to International Migrants Day, commemorated on December 18. UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will host the webinar, which will be open to questions and feature other experts on the issue of child detention.


UN partners, youth, and civil society organisations are invited to submit a short video statement telling a story about migrant rights: it might be your story, a friend’s story, or a story that has motivated you to take action on this issue.


You are also invited to participate in the social media campaign in the lead up to this event, which will focus more broadly on the rights of all migrants.


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