The Global Campaign

The Global Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children was launched during the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2012, to draw attention to the many detrimental effects that immigration detention has on children, and to encourage states to cease the immigration detention of children consistent with their CRC obligations.

The Campaign urges states to adopt alternatives to detention (ATD) that fulfill 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 Campaign coordinates international, regional and national activities with the goal of raising awareness of the issue of child immigration detention and encouraging states to “expeditiously and completely cease the immigration detention of children” consistent with the CRC Committee’s guidance.

The Campaign Position


The Global Campaign believes that all refugee, asylum-seeker and irregular migrant children should be:

In the community

States should transpose into their respective legislation and practice an end to the detention of children for migration reasons and seek to develop appropriate community placement models

With their parents

Consistent with the principles of family unity, the parents or primary care-givers should not be detained, but should be allowed to live in the community setting with their children, while having their status assessed. Unaccompanied or separated children should be appointed an independent guardian

Every day, all around the world, millions of children are affected by immigration detention.

Find out more about the Global Campaign and join your voice with ours to end child detention.


Children should under no circumstances be detained. Liberty is a fundamental human rights

Treated as children

Children are, first and foremost, children and should be treated in full accordance with international law regarding child rights

Looked after

The best interest of the child must be the primary consideration in any action that a State might take in relation to a child