AN ONGOING, WORLDWIDE CAMPAIGN
The Global Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children was launched during the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2012, to draw attention to the many detrimental effects that immigration detention has on children, and to encourage states to cease the immigration detention of children consistent with their CRC obligations.
FOCUSING ON RIGHTS
Supported by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the campaign was initiated by the International Detention Coalition, a civil-society network with hundreds of members around the world. It focuses on full realisation of the rights of children in immigration detention, uniting supporters around the ‘campaign position’
The launch also commenced targeted national Campaign activities in countries such as in Australia, Greece, South Africa, Mexico and Malaysia.
Since then, the Campaign has been formally supported by over 100 organizations worldwide, including Amnesty International, Jesuit Refugee Service, Caritas Internationalis, the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the Association for the Prevention of Torture, International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM).
CONDUCTING STRATEGIC UN WORK
The Campaign has conducted targeted advocacy at the international level, utilising the mechanisms of the United Nations. Campaign side events have been held at Sessions 24, 25 & 26 of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development.
In September 2012 The Campaign supported 6 formerly detained children to speak during the General Day of Discussion for the Committee on the Rights of the Child, leading to the strongest recommendation seen from the Committee to date,
“Children should not be criminalised or subject to punitive measures because of their or their parents’ migration status. The detention of a child because of their or their parent’s 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 Campaign is a part of the international working group to end immigration detention of children, which has representatives from relevant UN agencies and international Non-Government organisations working collaboratively on initiatives to advance this issue.
TARGETED REGIONAL & NATIONAL WORK
The Campaign has run focus months in five countries: Mexico, Greece, Malaysia, Israel, South Africa and Australia.
Although the Campaign has an over-arching goal to end the practice of immigration detention, in each of these countries practical recommendations were made tailored to the national context and specific to the political environment.
More details on the Campaign ‘focus months’ can be found here.
CREATING TOOLS AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO CAMPAIGN IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Four main tools have been utilised by the campaign to raise awareness:
- A mailing list to track progress on progress around the world
- “Speak Up Behind Bars” video messages for children in detention
- An award-winning animated documentary about child detention, the Invisible Picture Show
- The global petition to end child immigration detention
These tools are freely available, and where possible we support individuals and organisations to take action in their own communities.
The Campaign is an ongoing initiative and there are many ways to get involved.
Contact [email protected] for more details.