Women, girls and LGBTQI individuals in detention are at greater risk of being targeted by all forms of discrimination and violence, including gender-based violence and sexual abuse. Detention contravenes the best interest of the child, constitutes a child rights violation and has a profound and negative impact on children’s health and well-being.

The Global Compact on Migration recommends favouring non-custodial measures, especially for families and children (article 29a). Alternatives to detention are also recommended for anyone whose rights and protection needs cannot be sufficiently met while in detention, including pregnant and nursing women. Gender-responsive referral mechanisms at borders (GCM article 28c) can be used to direct those with special protection needs to available services.

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