Photo credit: Asylum Access Latin America

International Detention Coalition (IDC) members and partners participated in a Regional Forum on Freedom of Movement, International Protection, and Integration, held on April 27th and 28th in Quito, Ecuador. The Regional Forum provided a space for key stakeholders in to share positive practices in protecting migrants’ right to personal freedom and strengthening alternatives to detention.

Participants included ombudsman offices, human rights organisms and civil society organizations and panel sessions ranged from alternatives to detention for unaccompanied children, to community reception and management, to the importance of monitoring places of immigration detention.

In each session, panelists highlighted the need to develop an implement policies and practices that respected the right to freedom of moment and guaranteed access to justice, in a human mobility context.

Regarding the situation of migrant children in particular,

«Often, people have attempted to use arguments referencing family unity and the bests interests of the child to justify detention…But the regional position has been to prohibit the deprivation of liberty of all children and adolescents.» -Javier Palummo, Director of the MERCOSUR Institute of Public Policy

Whats more, each panelists emphasized the fact that international and regional standards are clear in that all migrants have the right to personal liberty.

«We must adopt strategies based on community support and inclusion of migrants.» -Grant Mitchell, Director of the IDC

The Forum was coordinated by the following organizations: the International Detention Coalition, Asylum Access Latin America, the Inter-American Association of Public Defenders – South America Chapter, the National Institute of Higher Learning, and the Public Defenders Office of Ecuador.

See the objectives and agenda for the Regional Forum here (in Spanish)

See photos from the Regional Forum