Pope Francis Global Compact Plan Calls To End Child Detention

The Vatican’s migrants and refugee section has published a comprehensive, 20-point action plan for governments as the two Global Compacts on Refugees and Safe and Orderly Migration develop.

The documents advocate for effective and proven measures which constitute an integral response to the refugee crisis, grouped into actions: to welcome, to protect, to promote, and to integrate.

Section 3b calls encourages States to “adopt national policies which prefer alternatives to the detention of those seeking access to the territory” and further states” .

It specifically highlights States obligations under the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) to adopt alternatives to mandatory detention, which is never in the best interest of the child, no matter their migratory status.

The Vatican’s Migrants & Refugees Section is a small action-oriented Vatican office personally directed by Pope Francis helping the Church worldwide to support those who are forcibly displaced by conflict, natural disaster, persecution or extreme poverty; those who are making their difficult way to safety or are stuck; and those who fall victim to human trafficking.

The action plan compliments a speech made by the Pope on August 17 in preparation for Catholic World Migrant Day (January 18) highlights the the lamentable situation of many migrants and refugees fleeing from war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty. In this speech he states “the International Convention on the Rights of the Child provides a universal legal basis for the protection of underage migrants.  They must be spared any form of detention related to migratory status, and must be guaranteed regular access to primary and secondary education.”