Over 7 million children and adolescents under 18 are currently in police custody, jail, and immigrant detention centers across the globe.
Rabat – The US is currently holding 100,000 children in “migration related detention,” independent expert Manfred Nowak said on Monday, November 18. Governments worldwide are holding 330,000 children in detention centers.
Nowak, who authored the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, spoke at a news briefing on the treatment of children that he said violates international law.
Over 7 million children and adolescents under 18 are currently in police custody, jail, and immigrant detention centers.
Children who attempt to migrate have also been an issue between Morocco and Spain.
Unaccompanied Moroccan minors who crossed the border into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta overwhelmed migrant centers there last year. In 2017, just over 800 unaccompanied minors arrived in Ceuta, but the number swelled to 3,344 in 2018. Most of the minors making the trip were from northern Morocco.
On Saturday, November 16, the Association of Moroccan Lawyers Practicing Abroad met in Barcelona to discuss how to defend the rights of unaccompanied minors. They emphasized the need to protect minors’ rights in line with international laws and conventions.
Nowak’s study, submitted to the UN in July, recommended that countries “prohibit and end all forms of migration-related detention of children and their families.” The study further argued “Unaccompanied children should be provided with alternative care and accommodation.”
US President Donald Trump came under fire for his administration’s handling of migrants and asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border, particularly its separation of children from parents.
Nowak decried the policy in his briefing. “The way they were separating infants from families only in order to deter irregular migration from Central America to the United States to me constitutes inhuman treatment.”