Call for support: Global campaign to end the immigration detention of children

Launching now is an International Detention Coalition (IDC) campaign to stop the detention of children. Children do not belong in detention. The IDC is urgently reaching out now to all IDC members and friends, but also to refugee networks, child rights organisations and other human rights workers to make a commitment to endorse our campaign prior to the international launch in March at the UN Human Rights Council.

The IDC wants to be able to give strength to the campaign on the launch date by making a statement about the number of organisations from a number of countries support the campaign. Please read the endorsement letter below, and either fill out the embedded form.

Please share the information below widely amongst your networks – don’t forget, the IDC wants general child rights and human rights organisations to get involved too! See the campaign endorsement video.

Call for support: Global campaign to end the immigration detention of children

The International Detention Coalition (IDC) will launch a global campaign to end the immigration detention of children at the UN Human Rights Council in March this year as well as in a number of countries. IDC needs your support to build and put pressure on governments to start using child friendly procedures, or for those that already do, we need to ask them to share good practices with others. The campaign to end child detention will be open to anyone supporting this position, as laid out in a policy document on child detention based on research in five continents wherein almost 80 formerly detained children were interviewed. The central argument not to detain children, their families and unaccompanied or separated minors is based on three principles:

1. Undocumented child migrants are, first and foremost, children

2. The best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in any action taken in relation to the child

3. The liberty of the child is a fundamental human right.

This campaign then is about child rights but equally about human rights and refugee rights. This campaign focuses specifically on children detained for immigration purposes, including child refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants, however the IDC vision of alternatives to detention is far broader. IDC is looking for organisations to support the campaign in a number of ways: – IDC will organize a side event at the UN Human Rights Council in March 2012 to present the child focused research at a panel discussion on child detention. Also on that day, the official campaign film clip and website will be launched publicly and a number of countries will engage media with formerly detained children or by other means.

Let IDC know if you can help. – IDC also needs help with collecting more written or recorded stories, data about child detention or good practices in various countries, campaign representatives at regional and international forums and more. – IDC is looking for partners who are willing to endorse the campaign with their ongoing national or international work or directly participate in campaign activities. The alliance will be broader than just IDC members and open to everyone who can adhere to their position. Please visit the IDC website for more information on endorsement or contact Jeroen Van Hove, the campaign coordinator at jvanhove@idcoalition.org.