International Law

Immigration Detention is a Child Rights Violation

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely and rapidly ratified international human rights treaty in history. Has your country ratified it?

The UN CRC provided authoritative guidance that immigration detention is a child rights violation, and that the principle of ‘detaining as a last resort’ does not apply to children in the context of migration.

Article 3 of the CRC provides that the best interests of the child is a primary consideration. The Committee on the CRC has consistently and clearly stated that a child’s best interests should supersede other considerations of the state, including immigration control.

Furthermore, the CRC Committee clarified the rights of children in the context of migration in a day of general discussion. The CRC Committee made it clear that:

“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…”

Para 78. 79

Accordingly, the CRC Committee has called on States to:

“… adopt alternatives to detention that allow children to remain with family members and/or guardians in non-custodial, community-based contexts while their immigration status is being resolved, consistent with their best interests, and with children’s rights to liberty and family life.”

Para 78, 79

So this means States who lock children in immigration detention are breaking international law. How’s your country doing? <link to Next Gen Index>