On 6 November 2017, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale released new directions aimed to keep children out of Canada's immigration detention system.
“The key objective of the Ministerial Direction is to – as much as humanly possible – keep children out of detention, and keep families together. The Ministerial Direction makes it clear that the Best Interests of the Child must be given primary consideration. This will be achieved by actively and continuously seeking alternatives to detention when unconditional release is inappropriate.”
The directive is welcome; detention is never in the best interests of children and it is shocking that children are detained for immigration purposes in Canada, even for short periods of time.
Amnesty International and many other human rights groups in Canada have actively campaigned to keep children out of immigration detention. Several thousand Amnesty International members and supporters signed petitions and called on the Minister to stop detaining children for immigration purposes.