The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified calls to end the detention of migrant children as cases surge among children held in crowded conditions - yet immigration detention’s threat to children’s fundamental rights did not begin with the current public health crisis. In the first global analysis of its kind, WORLD’s team assessed the quality of legislative protections from immigration detention for migrant and asylum-seeking children and created quantitatively comparable data on legal provisions across the 150 most populous U.N. member states.
Findings published by the WORLD Policy Analysis Center in the International Journal of Human Rights show that gaps remain globally and there is an urgent need for adopting effective alternatives. Looking across low-, middle-, and high-income countries, less than a quarter of countries legally protect unaccompanied asylum-seekers from detention and only 11% do so for accompanied minor migrants. Additionally, unlike nearly three-quarters of high-income countries, the United States has no laws specifically limiting the detention of accompanied migrant and asylum-seeking children.
To access these findings and learn more about alternatives to immigration detention, please explore the resources below:
Senior Research Analyst and Dissemination Manager
WORLD Policy Analysis Center
Phone: (310) 983-3350