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Commissioner calls on Belgium not to resume detention of migrant children

Letter
Strasbourg 14/06/2018
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Commissioner calls on Belgium not to resume detention of migrant children

The Commissioner published today a letter that she addressed to Mr Theo Francken, Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum of Belgium, in which she raises concerns about the possibility that migrant families with children may be detained in newly constructed closed detention units near Brussels airport.

Underscoring that full respect for children’s rights means that children should never be detained on grounds of their or their parents’ immigration status, the Commissioner invites the Belgian authorities to redouble their efforts to develop alternatives to detention for families with children.

“In the last decade, Belgium has invested in the development of these human rights compliant alternatives, becoming a reference for positive practice in this field. I strongly encourage your authorities to continue on this path and not to revert to past detention practices, which jeopardise the protection of children’s rights”, she writes.