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UN group: detention for asylum seekers should be last resort

[JURIST] The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention [official website] said [statement] Monday that detaining migrants and asylum-seekers violated international law unless it is done as a last resort.

In the Revised Deliberation Number 5 [text, PDF] released at the beginning of February, the organization said, "The irregular entry and stay in a country by migrants should not be treated as a criminal offence." The deliberation goes on to say that migrants and asylum-seekers have, at the very least, the same rights as detainees in the criminal justice system. Migrants and asylum-seekers also have the right to challenge their detentions. "The deliberation says that any form of administrative detention or custody for migrants must be used 'as an exceptional measure of last resort, for the shortest period and only if justified by a legitimate purpose.'"

Also on Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union challenged [JURIST report] a policy separating children from asylum-seeking parents. On Thursday UN rights experts urged [JURIST report] the EU to end child migrant detentions. Earlier this month the UN rights office called [JURIST report] Hungary's anti-immigration proposal "an attack on human rights."

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