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States must ban the detention of migrant children

Council of Europe member states should introduce and enforce laws banning the detention of children for immigration reasons, according to PACE's Migration Committee.

Approving a report by Tinatin Bokuchava (Georgia, EPP/CD), the committee said this was 'a clear and unequivocal child rights violation', even though the practice is growing in Europe, with 'tens of thousands' of migrant children ending up in detention each year.

'Migrant children are frequently detained in Council of Europe states simply because they do not have the right immigration documents. They have committed no crime. Yet they may be subjected to criminal penalties, prison-like conditions, be separated from the support and protection of their families, and be denied fundamental rights,' the committee said in a draft resolution.

The committee praised in particular Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, France and the United Kingdom for having taken steps towards ending the immigration detention of children.

The report is due to be debated by the full Assembly on 3 October.