In addition, Article 37 requires States parties to ensure that every child deprived of liberty is treated with humanity and with the respect due to the dignity of the human person, and in a manner that takes into account the needs of people of son age.
Belgium has not retained any alternative to the confinement of children
In its findings, the Committee on the Rights of the Child stresses that Belgium”did not retain any alternative to the confinement of children“and therefore”does not have detention taken into account, as a primary consideration, their best interests, neither at the time of their detention nor at the time of the extension of their detention“.
“By inaugurating the ‘family units’ of the 127bis closed center in Steenokkerzeel in July 2018, Belgium resumed a practice that it had abandoned a few years ago: detaining children because of their immigration status, or that of their parents.“, denounce the 11 associations in their press release. For the latter, 20 children were locked up between August 2018 and April 2019, which marks the end of this practice after a judgment of the Council of State.
If the current government has undertaken not to detain any child in a closed center as long as it is in office, the 11 associations consider that this is not a sufficient guarantee and demand that the ban on detaining children be clearly written down in Belgian law. “In this way, the product would send a clear and – probably – lasting signal that the “children can never be locked up”make associations, for whom “We must put an end to this inhuman practice. We do not lock up a child. Period.”