UN deplores detention of migrants in Europe
The UN's human rights chief yesterday voiced alarm at the increasing detention of migrants in Europe, including unaccompanied children, amid widespread anti-migrant rhetoric across the continent.
As Europe faces its biggest migration crisis since the aftermath of World War II, UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he had sent staff members to assess areas along the main migration routes in the central Mediterranean and Balkans.
"They have observed a worrying increase in detention of migrants in Europe, including in the hotspots, (which are) essentially vast mandatory confinement areas which have been set up in Greece and Italy," he told the opening of the UN Human Rights Council's second annual session.
"Even unaccompanied children are frequently placed in prison cells or centres ringed with barbed-wire," he said, insisting "detention is never in the best interests of the child."
Zeid urged the EU to collect data on migrant detentions by member states, warning that "the figures would, I fear, be very shocking."
Meanwhile, a man fired shots with an air rifle at a refugee shelter in western Germany, leaving a five-year-old girl and an 18-year-old lightly wounded, police said yesterday.
The 21-year-old man targeted the shelter from his third-floor apartment just 40 metres away in the shooting on Sunday. The suspect was however not detained as "there were no grounds for arrest", police said. Hate crimes and attacks against migrants have exploded since arrivals spiked to 1.1 million in 2015.