STRASBOURG (Sputnik) — The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) kicked off a campaign to stop immigration detention of children, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the PACE spring session on Monday.
"Children need to be protected and I hope national parliaments will help that," Doris Fiala, PACE General rapporteur on ending immigration detention of children, said.
Fiala was speaking at the PACE spring session in Strasbourg, France. The session will last from Monday till Friday, and will discuss migration among a raft of other issues.
"We must try to fulfill the UN convention of children's rights," Fiala added.
Meanwhile, Leeanne Torpey, coordinator for the International Detention Coalition organization, noted that it was hard to give an accurate picture of the numbers of migrant children detained in Europe.
"In Europe it is very difficult to have statistics on children in detention. It is estimated that there are 40,000 children who are detained each year," Torpey said.
The PACE initiative is part of the Global Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children that was launched during the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2012, and aims to raise awareness of the detrimental effects that immigration detention has on children.