4 July 2014

“It was unbearable for my daughter. She was petrified. She kept asking me why we were there and even asked me: ‘Dad, have we done something wrong?’ She was also in physical pain. She kept complaining about her stomach ache, she still does. She was also afraid to sleep alone, so we slept in the same bed,” stated an Iranian father who was in immigration detention with his daughter of six years old.

The No Child in Detention Coalition, including Amnesty International, Defence for Children, Stichting INLIA, Kerk in Actie, Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland, Stichting LOS, Unicef – the Netherlands and the Dutch Council for Refugees, has published a report based on interviews with eight families who were put in border detention or immigration detention in the Netherlands

According to the report, the number of children detained with their families in the Netherlands has been increasing since 2010. 352 children with their families and 70 unaccompanied migrant children were detained in the Netherlands in 2012. In 2010, 227 children were detained with their families.

The organisations stress that placing migrant children in detention is not in the best interest of the child and urge the Dutch Government to ensure that alternatives to detention, which should be in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, are in place.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 4 July 2014.
You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.