Children speak out against migration detention at the UN

Six youngsters with migration detention experience in countries like Australia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Norway and the United States use the theatre techniques and multimedia to depict the impact of detention. They have collaborated and learnt new skills during a one week workshop in Geneva and will deliver the presentation to States and Organisations present at the United Nations Committee on Child Rights’ Day of General Discussion (DGD).

The presentation, ” Hear our Voices”, will take place today within a one hour side event organised by the Campaign to End Child Immigration Detention at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, which will also serve as a platform for States to discuss alternatives to detention, existing best practices and the best ways to move forward.
The script of the presentation is composed of actual words of the youth with detention experience, which ranges from six weeks to six years. “I was on a really boat with 70 people. We didn’t have any food and any water for 7 days” says one child. Another young man very clearly spells out what it feels like to be detained: “ The world was dark for me. I felt broken. I felt I was nobody. In a detention centre you are so broken that you think you are nobody.”
The six youngsters are very excited to have met each other and to have gotten the opportunity to share their similar experiences of detention in different countries of the world with each other and DGD participants. All of them are of the opinion that, although they will carry the weight of detention all their lives, they are hopeful for the future and have hopes of becoming diplomats, refugee case workers, accountants, and film-makers. “I am a student of political science now and I want to work for a world where no child is in detention!” says one young man.

Puppets made by children during the workshop to be used in the DGD presentation

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