Zuzeeko Tegha Abeng
The International Convention on the Rights of the Child – to which Finland is party – outlaws the detention of children, unless as a last resort and for the shortest possible time (see article 37[b]) and obligates States Parties to ensure that a child seeking asylum receives appropriate protection and assistance (see Article 22). Despite obligations under international law, Finland detains, as a first resort, children seeking asylum for long periods of time.
Amnesty International, Finnish section, launched a petition to stop detention of children seeking asylum in Finland.
According to Amnesty International, children should be in day care centres, schools or skateparks – not in police detention. Finland detains thousands of people yearly, including people who have fled persecution, war or poverty. They are held in prison-like conditions, although guilty of no crime.
There are children seeking asylum in Finland who live behind closed doors on a daily basis.
I have signed Amnesty International’s petition asking Minister of Interior Päivi Räsänen whether innocent children belong in police prisons. I believe children should be in homes, preschools, schools and playgrounds – not locked up.
Detention is not in the best interest of a child.
Sign the Amnesty International petition here. Finnish Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen.
Amnesty’s petition urges Minister Räsänen to:
- Fulfill the promise to stop detention of unaccompanied children.
- Immediately terminate detention of all children, expectant mothers and people traumatized by torture.
- Ensure that detention is used only as a last resort and for the shortest possible time. Detention places should develop less restrictive alternatives.
- Ensure that Finland comply with human rights obligations in detention.
In my view, the Metsälä facility is called a “detention centre”, but it is in fact a prison. It is no place for children, especially children who have done absolutely nothing wrong.
Read original blog entry here.
This piece was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.