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Catholic Mission welcomes UN condemnation of child detention


Catholic Mission has welcomed a statement from a group of UN human rights experts this week claiming that governments are not justified in placing children and families in immigration detention.

Marking International Migrants Day last Sunday, the group, which includes various human rights committee chairs and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said despite the rhetoric and policies seeking to incriminate undocumented migrants, detention was not lawful under international human rights law.

"Every day, thousands of children – sometimes with families – are locked up in immigration detention in over one hundred countries around the world, including both developed and developing countries,” the statement read.

“Such an experience can be devastating for a child and is not a legitimate response under international human rights law."

As a lead organisation of the End Child Detention Coalition, Catholic Mission has praised the powerful statement.

“This authoritative statement by such an eminent group of experts is not only long-anticipated, it adds significant weight to an argument many, including Catholic Mission, have been making for years,” said Jenny Collins-White, Catholic Mission's education and advocacy manager.

“A major part of our advocacy program, which is intrinsically linked to the formation of Australians for mission, is centred on the message that children do not belong in immigration detention. The United Nations has unequivocally backed this claim and their clarion call has echoed around the world.”

Read the full statement from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights here

For media enquiries please contact Matthew Poynting on 02 9919 7833 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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