End Child Detention
  • Petitioning United Nations Human Rights Council

This petition will be delivered to:

States present at the UN Human Rights Council
United Nations Human Rights Council
Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection
Nikolaos Dendias
South African Minister of Home Affairs
Ms Grace Naledi Pandor
Israeli Minister of Interior
Gideon Sa'ar
A. Secretaría de Gobernación de México
Miguel Angel Osorio Chong
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship - Australian Labor Party
Tony Burke
Malaysian Prime Miniser
Datuk Seri Najib

End Child Detention

    1. Petition by

      End immigration detention of children

La detención de niños, niñas y adolescentes por razones migratorias es un fenónemo global y ocurre todos los días en México y en los Estados Unidos. Exhortamos a los Estados para que esta práctica sea erradicada, protegiendo los derechos de todos los niños, niñas y adolescentes dentro de su territorio o jurisdicción, independientemente de que él o ella cuente o no con la documentación migratoria para estar en el país.

En ninguna circunstancia la detención de niños, niñas y adolescentes migrantes es benéfica, ni podría ser acorde con el interés superior del niño.

La detención de niños, niñas y adolescentes es un problema, no una solución.

Aunque sea por un periodo de tiempo muy corto, existen elementos suficientes que prueban que la detención tiene un impacto negativo y profundo en los niños, niñas y adolescentes, y deteriora su salud física y psicológica, comprometiendo su adecuado desarrollodurante la infancia y a lo largo de su vida.

En el 2011, México detuvo a 4,172 menores de 18 años en centros de detención migratoria. Aproximadamente dos terceras partes de ellos estuvieron sin acompañamiento. La tendencia va en aumento, tanto que durante los primeros seis meses del 2012, Estados Unidos detuvo 10,005 niños, niñas y adolescentes no acompañados, más Del doble que en todo en año anterior.

Los Estados no deberían detener a niños, niñas y adolescentes que huyen del abuso, la guerra y la pobreza, aún si carecen de documentación migratoria. Estos niños, niñas y adolescentes migrantes, solicitantes de asilo y refugiados no representan ninguna amenaza a la sociedad. Por el contrario, los Estados tienen el deber de garantizarles protección y apoyo en la comunidad.Nos dirigimos a todos los Estados, y en particular a las autoridades de migración de Australia, Malasia, Israel, Sudáfrica, Grecia, México y Estados Unidos, donde la detención de niños, niñas y adolescentes es una práctica prevaleciente.



“I got one small bowl of food a day. We were never allowed to go outside. In the night I had to give massages to some of the men.” says a child refugee from Myanmar who was in an immigration detention centre in Malaysia.

Unfortunately, immigration detention of children happens all around the world.  We call on all states to stop this practice and protect the rights of all children within their territory or jurisdiction, regardless of whether the child holds the appropriate documentation.

It is never in the best interest of the child to be detained.

Child detention is a problem, not a solution

Although detention of children is widespread, it is difficult to quantify partly because States do not often keep statistics and/or release numbers. There is an increase globally in the use of migration-related detention, with many countries detaining migrant, asylum seeker and refugee children. There are reports of children being detained alongside convicted criminals in jails and/or unrelated adults in immigration detention centres. Many children are unaccompanied or are separated from their caregivers, leaving them particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse.  Lack of adequate medical care and education is a major concern for all children in detention

Substantial evidence shows that detention frequently damages the mental health and development of children, from infancy through teenage years.  Harmful effects on children's mental health are often persistent, are often severe, and can occur even after short periods of detention.

Governments should not detain children when they are fleeing abuse, war and poverty, even if they do not have any papers. These children and families do not pose any threat to the community.  

We address all states, and in particular the immigration ministers of Malaysia, Israel, South Africa, Greece, Mexico, Australia and the United States of America, where child detention is an acute problem.

Recent signatures


    1. Expert roundtable in Mexico

      IDC will be holding a workshop on Alternatives & Care for Children / Adolescent migrants and calling for more members from the Americas to sign the petition! Join in all the fun: www.facebook.com/pages/Alto-a-la-Detención-de-Niñs-Migrantes

    2. Malaysia focus month

      Focusing our global campaign efforts in Malaysia, we've seen our signatures top the 3000 mark. Members of civil society in Malaysia have come together to ask their government to take the lead and end child immigration in detention. While there are no official statistics, NGOs report that many children are detained in the countries 12 immigration detention centres, which do not have enough food and water.

      Learn more:

      End Immigration Detention of Children - Malaysia

      End Immigration Detention of Children - Malaysia. 292 likes · 71 talking about this. In Malaysia, children are detained in immigration depots simply because they were forced to leave their home countries and do not hold the right documentation. But all children should be free to play, go to school and be with friends their age.

    3. Reached 3,000 signatures
    4. NEWSLETTER: Australia's 20 years of child detention

      NEWSLETTER Read about the visit to the remote detention centre in Australia last week, watch and share Jalal's story about detention as a 16 year old and find more international news about child detention.

    5. In the spotlight: Australia currently detains 428 children

      This month the Global Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children focuses on Australia, a country that currently holds 428 children in remote and secure facilities. Later this year we will put the spotlight on Greece, Mexico, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa and the United States to support the call to end child detention in all continents. Let me tell you why we started down under.

      The youngest unaccompanied child in the Australian Immigration Minister’s care will have spent a year in detention this month. The youngest child with parents in detention is two years old and was born there. After birth, the mother and newborn were returned to the locked facility. In practice, most unaccompanied minors and families are locked up for months before being released into a community-based alternative with certain conditions.

      Learn more at www.endchilddetention.org

    6. Child detention is a big problem in Mexico, share Juan's story

      Watch and share this story about Juan and Ana who left Colombia for Mexico to protect their daughter and son. The family was detained for nearly two months.

    7. Reached 750 signatures
    8. Thanks for signing on the launch day of this global campaign

      Yusuf, detained in Malta said “Detention for me was so surprising. I was so frightened. For me it was like prison.” His story was used today to open the launch event at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Watch the video story and share it with your friends.

    9. Reached 250 signatures
    10. The campaign to end child detention will become public on March 21st

      Thanks for signing this global petition. You can already like www.facebook.com/endchilddetenetion or follow www.twitter.com/childdetention, on Wednesday we will post the campaign clip for you to share.

    11. Reached 25 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 10 days ago

      I am against the detention of refugees in general, let alone children. It is unacceptable to treat children this way. This is horrific!

    • Tim Coghlan AUSTRALIA
      • 11 days ago

      set them free

    • Matthew Madaffari AUSTRALIA
      • 11 days ago

      Because it is Un-Australian

      • 12 days ago

      All humans have rights!!

    • Jack Munari AUSTRALIA
      • 12 days ago

      It is not fair to the children in detention centres


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