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Launch of a parliamentary campaign to end immigration detention of children

PACE will launch the Parliamentary Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children during a ceremony on Monday 20 April at 1 pm at the Council of Europe (Lobby of the Chamber) in Strasbourg.

This parliamentary campaign is part of a global campaign launched during the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2012. It aims to raise awareness of the issue in Europe, and to encourage states to adopt alternatives to detention that fulfil the best interests of the child and allow children to remain with their family members and/or guardians in non-custodial, community-based contexts while their immigration status is being resolved.

The launch ceremony will be attended by:

• PACE President Anne Brasseur
• Doris Fiala (Switzerland, ALDE), General Rapporteur on ending immigration detention of children
• Leeanne Torpey, co-ordinator of the global campaign
• Antje Rothemund, Head of the Youth Department, Council of Europe

The launch event will also include a “Living Library” on immigration detention of children, with the participation of former detainees, parents of children who have been detained and a number of other persons who will present alternatives to detention. The Living Library will operate in the same way as a traditional library, that is to say “readers” can borrow a “book” for a certain length of time. The only difference is that the “books” will be human beings who will then share their experiences with the “readers”.

The “Living Library” will be open on Monday 20 April from 1 to 5.30 pm, and on Tuesday 21 April from 10 am to 5.30 pm (Lobby of the Chamber).

There will also be a stand to distribute the campaign materials (in particular the Captured Childhood report and PACE resolution 2020 (2014) on “The alternatives to immigration detention of children”) and a series of short videos will be shown, including the Invisible Picture Show and other videos from the campaign.