Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 08:09:15 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Don’t label the children as refugees

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Lavinia Liardo :
All children - from Strasbourg to Syria - deserve to be treated as children before being viewed as refugees, migrants or any other label. They deserve our care and protection, our love and support.
But instead, they are being detained for no other reason other than their migration status.
Treated like criminals, vulnerable kids who have fled war and persecution are locked up at the expense of their own health and psychosocial development. To make matters worse, children are sometimes separated from their parents and loved ones - detained alone in an alien country.
Yet the practice of locking up refugee and migrant children while their migration status is being decided is still rife across Europe. Hungary has already started holding refugees - including children - in guarded camps encircled with razor wire while deciding what to do with them next.
This is why civil society organisations and other agencies are calling for EU countries to end this practice once and for all, ahead of the European Forum on the Rights of the Child which kicks off today (7 November 2017). The Forum is focusing on children deprived of liberty and alternatives to detention.
It is imperative that countries in the European Union and throughout the world ditch the laws and policies that allow child refugees and migrants to be detained - finally bringing their actions in line with international human and child rights law. The health, wellbeing and future of these children must take precedent over other migration policies.
To do this, humane alternatives to detention must be brought into use immediately. EU countries must swap detention centres for accommodating communities, allowing refugee and migrant children to thrive in a caring, unrestricted environment that benefits children, families and host countries alike.
This approach has many benefits. The International Detention Coalition has found that refugee and migrant families who authorities engage with rather than detain comply with between 70 and 99 percent of a country's migration procedures - a percentage which drops sharply when people are incarcerated.
Humane alternatives to detention can also cost as little as one-fifth of the price of limiting children's freedom of movement in a migration centre. They provide a cheaper, more effective way of caring for migrant and refugee kids which simultaneously complies with international human rights law.
But the EU's responsibility to stand up for the rights of children does not stop at Europe's borders. A unique opportunity to ban the practice of locking up children while their migration status is being determined is on the horizon with the negotiation of two UN 'compacts' - the global compact on refugees and the global compact on migration.
While stamping out child immigration detention within Europe, the EU must also throw its weight behind making sure both these compacts rule out the chance of child refugees and migrants being routinely incarcerated around the world.
To do this, light must be shed on the true extent of child immigration detention across the globe - something the UN will look into in an upcoming study on all children currently deprived of liberty. But this study is at serious risk of being mothballed due to a lack of funding from UN member states.
Only small contributions from EU member states would be enough to make this study a reality. It would ensure that every child detained solely for being a refugee or migrant is accounted for - reason alone to make sure funding is provided.
Finally, the true experts on the damage which child immigration detention has on children are kids themselves - especially those who have experienced it. The voices of these children must not be side-lined, but instead allowed to shape both EU and global policies on how migrant and refugee children are cared for.
Locking up children purely because of where they come from breaks international law. It fails to protect children and robs them of the bright future they risked their lives travelling across land and sea for.
It's time the EU put these children's future first, replacing the damage which immigration detention can do to children with the better life and opportunities that every child should enjoy.
(Lavinia Liardo is a senior policy officer for child rights organisation Terre des Hommes).

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Maldives' people reject authoritarian rule and voted for democracy

MALDIVES strongman President Yameen Abdul Gayoom conceded that he lost Sunday's election to his challenger Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in a speech broadcast live on television Monday, according to the international media. Mr Yameen congratulated Solih and said, "I know I have to step down now."  The Election Commission said voter ...

Cricket »

'Rashid is best but not unplayable' says Mahmudullah

Mahmudullah Riyad sorted out a vigorous 74 against Afghanistan rescuing Bangladesh from a plausible downfall.Mahmudullah Riyad and Imrul Kayes stood tall in the middle when the team was languishing losing all five in the top order in a score of 87 on the board. The duo added 128 runs in ...

International »

Thousands attend funeral for Iran attack dead

AFP :Tens of thousands of mourners attended a funeral on Monday in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz for soldiers and civilians killed in an attack on a military parade.Four militants attacked the Saturday parade marking the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, spraying the crowd with gunfire and killing ...

International »

Hong Kong pro-independence party formally outlawed in first such move since handover

Reuters, Hong Kong  :Hong Kong authorities formally banned on Monday a group promoting independence from China - the first outlawing of a political organization since Britain handed its former colony back to Chinese rule in 1997.The city's Secretary for Security John Lee announced the ban on the Hong Kong National ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressing a reception accorded to her by the expatriate Bangladeshis at a hotel in New York on Sunday.

Entertainment »

Mehazabien, Apurba in Puja special play

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular pair of the small screen of present time Mehazabien Chowdhury and Ziaul Faruk Apurba worked together in a special play of Durga Puja for the first time. Title of the play is Priyo Tumi. Directed by Mahmudur Rahman Himi story of the play is written by ...

Editorial »

Attack on Iran`s elite guards

IRANIAN Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused US-backed Gulf Arab states of carrying out a shooting attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, almost half of them members of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards. Khamenei ordered security forces to bring to justice those responsible for one of the ...

Sports »

Bertens defeats Tomljanovic to secure Korea Open win

AFP, Seoul :Kiki Bertens defeated Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in the Korea Open final on Sunday, securing her third WTA Tour singles title of the season to continue her career-best year.The second-seeded Bertens came back from break down in the deciding set to defeat the Australian in two hours and 22 ...

International »

World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism

AP, United Nations :With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together as a community of nations, addressing threats ranging from Mideast conflicts to the effects of global warming - and also ...

City »

National Professor Anisuzzaman seen among others at the cover unveiling ceremony of a book marking the 80th birthday of eminent writer Hasan Azizul Haq organised by Bangladesh Culture at Jatiya Press Club yesterday.

Entertainment »

Nazira Mou to debut in film with Indraneil

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Viewers’ choice popular actress Nazira Mou has been acting in small screen for many days. She got many offers for acting in big screen. But she did not agree to act due to disliking stories and her roles in those works. When Mou got the proposal from ...

Editorial »

CPJ reveals weakness of journalists by appealing to President

THE Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a letter to the Bangladesh President has expressed deep concern about the Digital Security Act 2018, which was passed by the Parliament on September 18, and urged him to return it to Parliament for a review afresh.   If this legislation was allowed to ...

International »

Modi faces calls for resignation over French jet deal

Reuters, New delhi :Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced calls for his resignation over allegations of corruption in a military jet deal with France after former French president Francois Hollande was quoted as saying New Delhi had influenced the choice of a local partner.Indian political parties have been gunning for ...

International »

US official in Russia probe suggested taping Trump: Report

Reuters, Washington: The US official who oversees the federal investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election suggested secretly recording President Donald Trump last year and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke a constitutional amendment to remove him from the White House, the New York Times reported on Friday.Deputy Attorney ...

Football »

Tabarez renews with Uruguay until Qatar World Cup

AFP, Montevideo :Despite failing health the veteran coach Oscar Tabarez has signed a four-year contract extension to remain at the Uruguay helm until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the South American country's football federation said on Friday.Tabarez, who suffers from a nerve disorder that forces him ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news