There Are Alternatives

“A world that cherishes the humanity and dignity of children”

Migrant children are often seeking asylum, family reunification or fleeing from violence and poverty.

While waiting for their status to be resolved, children need States to provide migration systems that are sensitive to their needs as children.   

All children have to be treated as children, to be free, to be looked after in the community and with their parents.

At the campaign, we advocate (with the world’s eminent experts on child rights) for alternatives to detention to be used by States to achieve their international obligations.

An alternative to detention is any law, policy or practice that allows people to live freely in a community setting while waiting for their immigration status to be resolved.

When most people think about immigration detention they think of a physical place, such as a prison where people are locked up.

But an alternative to detention is rarely one place – in fact for them to work effectively, a whole array of systems need to be working together. So a law may be an alternative to detention, and a foster system that allows asylum seekers to live in the community may also be an alternative to detention. Together, these alternatives provide the best care for children, a vast improvement on the known harms of placing children in immigration detention.

Find out more about alternatives

map of alternatives to detention around the world

Here’s a map of alternatives to detention around the world, produced by the founder of the Campaign, the International Detention Coalition:

Tracking State Progress

Each year, we update the NextGen Index, which ranks how countries are going as they develop migration systems that are sensitive to the needs of children.

How is your government doing? What can you recommend that your government does? Take a look at the NextGen Index and do your part to protect the liberty of the next generation, today.

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about alternatives to detention for children, we’ve developed this short online training course.  In just 15 minutes, you’ll have a deep understanding of successful alternatives to detention – and you’ll be ready to answer those tough questions as you campaign for change


What does international law say about child detention?

Find out more about what the International Law says about child immigration detention below:

Link here

Where can I find out even more about alternatives to detention?

The International Detention Coalition, the campaigns founder, has extensive information on immigration detention and alternatives on their website:

Link here

How can States develop alternatives to detention?

View this detailed roadmap that was developed by the campaign in support to alternatives to detention:

Link here