MELBOURNE (23 March 2015) – This year marks the 25th year since the Migrant Workers Convention was adopted, which guarantees the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families.

To raise awareness, the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers have launched the Step It Up Campaign, with one of their central themes calling for an end to the immigration detention of children.

Every day, children worldwide experience an array of human rights violations as a result of punitive immigration detention regimes. Held in detention centres, unaccompanied or with their family members, for immigration status violations or separated from detained parents or guardians, these children are deprived of their rights to liberty and family life.

“Children should not be criminalized or subject to punitive measures because of their or their parents’ migration status. The detention of a child because of their or their parent’s migration status constitutes a child rights violation and always contravenes the principle of the best interests of the child” (Committee on the Rights of the Child).

Children who are directly or indirectly affected by immigration detention, in all its forms, are at risk of trauma and abuse and are taught at a young age what it means to be members of a criminalized community. This includes families divided by adult detention.

The International Detention Coalition are proud to support the Step It Up Campaign, and encourage our members and partners to promote and participate in the online platform, which can be accessed here.