Justin Byworth, World Vision Brussels’ Executive Director, said:
“World Vision is deeply concerned by the announcement made today by the European Commission about the new EU return policy.
While we welcome the fact that these new policies clearly lay out that the best interest of the child is the basis of any return decision, we are shocked to hear that children could be detained for months under this new policy piece.
Detention of children, with or without their families, is clearly never in the best interest of the child as it can have long-lasting psychological consequences for them.
Alternatives to child detention have to be explored by EU Member States in consultation with civil society actors working locally, as well as young people themselves, and meaningfully put in place. The EU should take a leadership role in this regard and ban the detention of children on the move.”