The objective of this general comment is to draw attention to the particularly vulnerable situation of unaccompanied and separated children; to outline the multifaceted challenges in ensuring that such children are able to access and enjoy their rights; and, to provide guidance on the protection, care and proper treatment of unaccompanied and separated children based on the entire legal framework provided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Key Words Archives: Deprivation of liberty
The Convention was adopted by resolution 44/252 of 20 November 1989 at the Forty-fourth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. It entered into force on 2 September 1990. The States Parties amount to 196 (in October 2021) and is the most widely ratified international instrument world-wide. The Convention provides for a set of rights to which all children are entitled.
The UN Special Rapporteur highlights that immigration detention practices across the globe, whether de jure or de facto, put children at risk of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
UNHCR’s Global Strategy – Beyond Detention 2014-2019 aims to make the detention of asylum-seekers an exceptional rather than routine practice. The first main global goal is to end the detention of children.
These Guidelines reflect the current state of international law relating to the detention of asylum-seekers and are intended to guide governments and decision-makers, including judges.
The Joint General Comment of the CMW and CRC contains legally binding obligations that relate both in general and specifically to the protection of the human rights of children and migrants. The comment focuses in particular on States Parties’ legal obligations regarding age assessment procedures, deprivation of liberty, procedural guarantees and other rights of the children.