UN-backed group urges end to detention of children

AP News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2012 8:14 AM
UN-backed group urges end to detention of children

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.