This meeting was a briefing on the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour. It was co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Argentina and Belgium, and the International Labour Organization.
Ted Chaiban, UNICEF director of programmes, spoke about how to go about ending child immigration detention. Specifically, he discussed the following: global dialogues, agreeing and focusing on solutions and practices and solutions, global compact on migration under supervision of co-facilitators, and encouraging member states and their partners to build road maps and taking systematic steps.
Mr. Donald M. Kerwin Jr., Executive Director Center for Migration Studies, notes that most of the conditions can be met by alternatives and detention should be used as a last resort only when other alternatives are exhausted. He said that states have a legal obligation to examine carefully detention if alternatives are not sufficient to the aim pursued. Also, the number of detentions and for-profit prisons should be reduced, and detentions should be exhausted and this is for the shortest period possible for non criminals.
Ashley Feasley, Director of Policy for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Msgr. Bob Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission, discussed their organization’s support for family reunification, refugee housing, fighting human trafficking, and maintaining the family unit. They both stressed more protection for children’s rights as well.
Overall, deprivation of liberty of a child because of parents’ immigration status is cruel and degrading. Children should not suffer due to circumstances out of their control. Many delegates agreed with this stance, and are putting together further efforts to develop effective alternative solutions to the detention of children.