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 Statement by the Commissioner of Human Rights of the Council of Europe

I am very concerned at reports showing that Cyprus continues the practice of detaining and separating migrant women from their children. This practice is irreconcilable with Cyprus’ legal obligation to ensure the best interests of the child and must be ended.
Moreover, some of these migrant women have reportedly been arrested because of their irregular entry or stay in the country. Depriving migrants, especially women accompanied by dependent children, of their liberty without examining alternatives to detention is not in line with international human rights standards.
I urge the government of Cyprus to put an end to these practices and to fully align law and practice with international standards. This effort would highly benefit from taking duly into account the views of the Ombudsman, the Child Commissioner and the civil society with expertise in this area.
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