UN experts: EU countries must stop detaining migrant children

Эксперты ООН: страны ЕС должны прекратить задерживать детей-мигрантов

A migrant boy looks out over a bay in Italy. UN experts: EU countries must stop detaining migrant children Human rights

European Union countries preparing to implement the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum should ban immigration detention of children, UN human rights experts said today.

“The detention of migrant and asylum-seeking children because of their migration status or the migration status of their parents is not in the best interests of the child and is in all circumstances a violation of children’s rights,” the Special Rapporteurs said in a statement. & ;nbsp;

“In the absence of a single regional ban, EU member states should directly prohibit immigration detention of children in their legislation and ultimately end this practice for all migrants,” the experts stressed. 

Human rights activists have called on the European Commission to develop specific guidelines for the reception of children, both accompanied and unaccompanied by adults. They added that the detention of adult migrants and asylum seekers must also end. and migration should not be criminalized,” they said.

Migration should not be criminalized

Experts have noted that alternatives to incarceration are not only critical to protecting the dignity, health and well-being of people, but are also significantly less costly.

The Pact on Migration and Asylum, adopted by the European Parliament and submitted for approval to the Council of the European Union, is expected to enter into force in 2026.

“We welcome the future establishment of independent mechanisms aimed at monitoring strict respect for human rights during screening and border procedures implemented at the national level. Adequate measures must be taken to guarantee their independence. We are ready to facilitate the early creation of such mechanisms and cooperate with them,” the experts said.

“All human rights must be fully respected; Even in times of migration crises or large-scale displacement, some human rights are absolute and inalienable. These include the rights to life and freedom from torture and ill-treatment, as well as the principle of non-refoulement,” they said. 

States should refrain from collective expulsion of migrants and conduct individual assessments of protection needs in accordance with international law, the Special Rapporteurs emphasized. 

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Experts also welcomed the inclusion of anti-discrimination provisions in the Covenant. “EU countries must take concrete measures to prevent racial profiling by immigration and law enforcement officials, especially when conducting checks both at borders and within countries, including through the use of digital technology,” the experts said.   

“Measures must be taken to ensure effective protection of the rights of migrants and asylum seekers with disabilities,” they added.

A number of UN special rapporteurs made statements, including Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants Gehad Madi and Special Rapporteur on trafficking in women and children Siobhan Mullally.

Special Rapporteurs are part of the so-called “Special Procedures” of the Human Rights Council. They are not UN staff and are independent of any government or organization. They serve in an individual capacity and are not paid for their work.


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