200 | PRACTITIONERS GUIDE No. 6his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptionalcircumstances . . .”. Detailed rules for the exceptional situation ofdetention of children are provided by the United Nations Rules for theProtection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty. 747Other international tribunals have found that detention of childrenin inappropriate facilities may in certain circumstances lead to violationsof the freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.In Mubilanzila Mayeka and Kaniki Mitunga v. Belgium, 748 for example,the European Court found that detention of a five year old unaccompaniedasylum seeker in an adult detention centre without proper arrangementsfor her care violated Article 3 ECHR, since the conditionsof detention were not adapted to her position of extreme vulnerability;the Court also found a violation of her mother’s Article 3 rights becauseof anxiety and uncertainty in relation to her daughter’s detention. TheCourt has also found a violation of Article 3 ECHR for children detainedin a similar situation but accompanied by their mother, considering thatthe central test is that of the best interest of the child 749 and that the“the child’s extreme vulnerability is the decisive factor and takes precedenceover considerations relating to the status of illegal immigrant”. 750Conversely, the Court failed to find that the situation of the motherreached the threshold of inhuman or degrading treatment, because shewas detained with her children and their presence may have alleviatedher feelings of anguish and frustration. 751 The Inter-American Courtestablished that Article 19 ACHR requires higher standards of care andresponsibility on the State when detention of a child is involved. 7522. Conditions of detentionFacilities where migrants are detained must provide conditions that aresufficiently clean, safe, and healthy to be compatible with freedom fromtorture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (“ill-treatment”)and the right to be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherentdignity of the human person (Article 10 ICCPR, Article 5.2 ACHR,Article 5 ACHPR and Article 20 ArCHR). In the context of increasing use747 United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, adopted onDecember 14, 1990 by General Assembly resolution 45/113.748 Mayeka and Mitunga v. Belgium, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 739. See also, Rahimi v. Greece, ECtHR,op. cit., fn. 703, para. 86.749 Kanagaratnam and Others v. Belgium, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 680, paras. 61–69.750 Popov v. France, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 704, para. 64. In this case the detention for fifteen daysof two children (a three year old and a baby) with their parents in an adult detention environmentwith a strong police presence, without any children’s activities and taking accountof the parents’ distress, led to a violation of Article 3 ECHR.751 Kanagaratnam and Others v. Belgium, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 680, paras. 70–72.752 “Juvenile Reeducation Institute” v. Paraguay, IACtHR, Series C No. 112, Judgment of 2 September2004, paras. 143, 160–162.
MIGRATION AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW | 201of immigration detention and the holding of ever-larger numbers ofmigrants, often in overcrowded facilities, 753 poor or overcrowded conditionsof detention for migrants have regularly been found by internationalcourts and human rights bodies to violate the right to be freefrom cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Although detention by itsnature imposes a certain level of hardship, the general principle to beapplied is that conditions of detention should be compatible with humandignity and not subject detainees to a level of suffering beyond that inherentin detention. 754 Furthermore, economic pressures or difficultiescaused by an increased influx of migrants cannot justify a failure tocomply with the prohibition on torture or other ill-treatment, given itsabsolute nature. 755a) Cumulative effect of poor conditionsThe cumulative effect of a number of poor conditions may lead to violationof the prohibition on ill-treatment. 756 Furthermore, the longer theperiod of detention, the more likely that poor conditions will cross thethreshold of ill-treatment. The test is an objective one, and can be metirrespective of whether there had been any intent on the part of theauthorities to humiliate or degrade. 757 The prohibition on cruel, inhumanor degrading treatment places an obligation on State authorities toensure that those whom they deprive of liberty are held in humane conditions;the onus cannot be placed on detainees themselves to take theinitiative to seek access to adequate conditions. 758 Whether conditionsare cruel, inhuman or degrading must also be seen in the context of theindividual—it may depend on the sex, age or health of the individualdetainee. For those held in immigration detention, it is also relevantthat they are not charged with or convicted of any crime, which shouldbe reflected in the conditions of detention and facilities at the detentioncentre. 759753 CPT Standards, op. cit., fn. 629, Safeguards for Irregular Migrants Deprived of their Liberty,Extract from the 19 th General Report [CPT/Inf (2009) 27], p. 61, paras. 85–89.754 S.D. v. Greece, ECtHR, Application No. 53541/07, Judgment of 11 June 2007, para. 45;M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 324, para. 221. See also, “Juvenile ReeducationInstitute” v. Paraguay, IACtHR, op. cit., fn. 752, paras. 151–155.755 M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 324, paras. 223–224.756 Dougoz v. Greece, ECtHR, Application No. 40907/98, Judgment of 6 March 2001; Z.N.S.v. Turkey, ECtHR, Application No. 21896/08, Judgment of 19 January 2010; Charahili v.Turkey, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 743; M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 324,paras. 230–233.757 Riad and Idiab v. Belgium, ECtHR, Applications Nos. 29787/03 and 29810/03, Judgment of24 January 2008, para. 107.758 Ibid., para.103.759 See CPT Standards, op. cit., fn. 629, Safeguards for Irregular Migrants Deprived of their Liberty,Extract from the 19 th General Report [CPT/Inf (2009) 27], p. 61, paras. 85–89; M.S.S.v. Belgium and Greece, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 324, paras. 231–233.