“End” detention of asylum-seekers and refugees

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Two detainees are seen behind the bars of the prison walls. UN Photo/Victoria Hazou

A global strategy aimed at helping countries move away from the detention of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless people has been launched by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

The agency says that the detention of asylum-seekers and refugees has become routine in a number of countries and has serious lasting effects on individuals and families.

It’s particularly concerned about the growing number of children who are detained.

The new strategy, Beyond Detention calls for an end to the confinement of children and for guarantees in law that alternatives are available.

UNHCR’s Director of International Protection Volker Türk said that seeking asylum is lawful and is, what he called, a “fundamental human right.”

The agency has identified a number of countries to work with initially to revisit detention practices. They include, Hungary, Indonesia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Zambia.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’04”

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