The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’s Workshop: The Best Interests of the Child

On June 16 in Toronto, Mrs Karine Ruel, Director of Programmes and Developement for the Americas, North Africa and Middle East regions at the IBCR, took part in a one-day-workshop organised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Titled “The Best Interests of the Child (BIOC) Assessment Tool in the Canadian Immigration Detention Context”, this workshop had many objectives. First of all, the goal was to share information on the best pratices in Canada and abroad on alternatives to detention of immigrant children and their families. The event also aimed to work on the creation of a draft for an evaluation tool that would regulate detention conditions in the immigration process, taking into account the fact that there is no uniformity in  terms of alternatives to detention across the country. Ultimately, the goal would be to incorporate this draft into national detention policies. 

Canada is part to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees as well as the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet, children are concerned by questions relating to detention on many levels. Canadian Law anticipates that the detention of children  should be the last resort, after their best interests have been taken into account.