This month, the IDC has been privileged to participate in the regional conference on Protection of Children on The Move convened by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF in Lusaka between 20th – 21st May, 2015.  The presumption against detention- particularly of migrant children- and the need to continue to develop meaningful alternatives, which are in line with States’ international obligations, was discussed openly.  IDC had a chance to listen to the real challenges faced by states in implementing alternatives, as well as sharing regional successes.

Delegates from participating nations: Angola, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe committed to “ review good practices and identify new solutions in the region in implementing alternatives to detention of migrant children and other vulnerable migrants in need of protection.”

By the end of the meeting, States recognised the need for improved research or data collection and retention across the Region and resolved to enhance and strengthen national and regional child-sensitive protection mechanisms, ensuring they run in a timely manner.  This was suggested in order to make sure children are accommodated in meaningful alternatives to detention, consistent with their rights, rather than just being detained for want of robust processes.

In light of this, the mapping project currently being undertaken by IDC Africa Members is timely and may well feed in to States ability to implement ATDs.

For more information or to contribute to the Mapping, please contact IDC Regional Coordinator, Junita Calder on [email protected]