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Key Words Archives: Type of alternative to detention

Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals

The “Return Directive”, with implementation deadline of 24 December 2010, sets up a common set of rules for the return of non-EU nationals who do not or who no longer fulfil the conditions for entry, stay or residence within the territory of any EU country, and the related procedural safeguards. It establishes a legal obligation for Member States to take due account of the best interests of the child (Article 5) and to use immigration detention of children and families only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time (Articles 15 and 17).

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UNHCR, Refugee Children: Guidelines on Protection and Care

The UNHCR Guidelines aim to define the principles and practical measures for the protection and assistance of refugee children. UNHCR argues that because detention can be very harmful to refugee children, it must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. The same principle applies to alternative accommodation in which children are held under prison-like conditions. Families must be kept together at all times.

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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants: ending immigration detention of children and providing adequate care and reception for them

This report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Felipe González Morales, was submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 74/148 and Human Rights Council resolution 43/6. It advocates for a human rights-based approach to end child migration detention. In particular, it urges States to integrate unaccompanied migrant children into national child protection and welfare systems without any discrimination, irrespective of the child’s migration status.

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Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly: A study of immigration detention practices and the use of alternatives to immigration detention of children

This study from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) provides an overview of issues relating to immigration detention practices, and promotes the use of alternatives to immigration detention of children (ATDs). The study argues that the main idea behind ATDs is identifying options which provide state authorities with a degree of control over asylum seekers while allowing for a basic freedom of movement. ATDs need to be regulated in order to avoid the arbitrary imposition of restrictions on liberty or freedom of movement and, even when alternatives apply, access to legal aid should be given to migrants, especially to children.

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