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Czech News in English » News » National » NGOs criticise children's stay in Czech refugee facilities

NGOs criticise children’s stay in Czech refugee facilities

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Prague, Sept 3 (CTK) – The NGOs helping refugees have sharply criticised the practice of children staying in the detention facilities for foreigners with “prison regime” in the Czech Republic, their representatives have told CTK.
According to the information of the non-profit organisations’ consortium, about 60 children stay in these facilities now.
“We know, for instance, about the detention of a Syrian family with a four-month-old baby and another Syrian family of a nurse with a nine-year-old son who turned blind after a bomb explosion,” the consortium said, adding that the detention of children is at variance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the children’s best interests.
Miloslav Koudelny, director of the Refugee Facilities Administration, reiterated that children are not detained in the facilities but they are only accommodated there with the “detained adults,” while families are placed in facilities with a softer regime.
“Children should not be in detention at all…. However, we have information that they are in the camp in Bela-Jezova (central Bohemia), for instance. Children have nothing to do there. This is unnecessary,” Magda Faltova, director of the Association for Integration and Migration, told CTK.
Jaroslav Vetrovsky, lawyer of the Association for Immigration Legal Issues (ASIM), points out that the refugee facilities are not suitable for children in terms of regime, catering, free-time activities and family life.
“The deprivation of personal freedom occurs there. This is a facility similar to prison and the conditions there are not adapted to children,” Vetrovsky said.
The association’s lawyers visit the centre in Bela-Jezova once in two weeks and work as volunteers there.
According to the ASIM, a psychologist should work in the facility as a number of children came from war areas.
Vetrovsky also points to the disproportion between the number of police and social workers in the refugee centre.

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