UN-backed group urges end to detention of children

Mar 21, 2012, 12:14 PM

GENEVA (AP) – A coalition of advocacy groups says nations needlessly detain thousands of children a day at border crossings and must do a better job of managing their cases to prevent abuses.

The U.N.-backed International Detention Coalition says many children are unaccompanied and get locked up for lack of proper documentation, not because of wrongdoing.

Jeroen Van Hove, campaign coordinator for the Australia-based coalition, told reporters Wednesday the majority are “fleeing war, poverty and end up in a detention center” for weeks or months on end.

A report by the coalition based on interviews with 70 children in 11 nations found many children detained in a range of facilities, particularly in Australia, Greece, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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UN-backed group urges end to detention of children