Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



For over a decade, international human rights mechanisms have been calling for the prohibition of the detention of children based solely on immigration status. Human rights experts agree that the detention of children for immigration purposes is never in the best interests of the child, it leads to long-term harm, and it is a clear human rights violation. Until recently, the United States has detained hundreds of thousands of migrant children in cages each year and we have still not outlawed the inhumane practice. This article argues that engaging with international human rights mechanisms on this topic, including during the upcoming review of the United States by the U.N. Human Rights Committee in October 2023, is a small and relatively low stakes step to help forge a path towards the abolition of the immigration detention of children in the United States.