4 December 2006
This briefing paper addresses the use (and misuse) by Member States of detention of children, whether separated or with parents or other adults claiming responsibility for them, as a consequence of their own or their families’ claims to international protection, or as a consequence of entry into the European Union for other migration purposes. It considers current practice in the context inter alia of Title IV of the EC Treaty, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, EU asylum directives, Member States’ international protection and human rights obligations and domestic laws and policies. It offers a selective snapshot rather than a comprehensive overview. The note serves primarily to highlight serious concerns from many quarters that despite various directives, guidance and case law formulated by relevant international actors and the institutions of the EU, the use of detention measures against migrant and asylum-seeking children continues to increase. The authors of this briefing consider that such practices run counter to the European Commission’s stated priority strategy for ensuring that the rights of the child are effectively promoted and protected in all aspects of the body politic of the European Union and its Members, in full accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child.