The Refugee Law prohibits the detention of all asylum-seeking children.
Under the Aliens and Immigration Law, there are no provisions relating to the detention of children, except for those that transpose the Returns Directive, according to which children can be detained as a last resort and for the least possible time. In practice, overall children are not detained, except for cases where unaccompanied children are arrested with false / forged documents that show them to be over 18, and usually in an attempt to leave the country with these documents. In such instances they are detained as adult “prohibited immigrants”. However, since 2016, even in such cases they are often released when they state that are in fact under 18, especially if an NGO intervenes.
Detention of vulnerable persons is not prohibited and victims of torture, trafficked persons and pregnant women are detained with no special safeguards in place. Indeed, due to the lack of an effective identification mechanism, lack of individual assessment and reluctance to implement alternatives to detention, vulnerable asylum seekers are often identified in detention. Even when these cases are communicated to the CRMD they are not released, including cases of asylum seekers who have recently arrived in the country and there is sufficient evidence that they intend to remain engaged with the procedures.
Article 9ΣΤ(1) Refugee Law.
Article 18ΠΓ(1) Aliens and Immigration Law.
Information based on monitoring visits carried out by the Cyprus Refugee Council to the Youth Hostels where unaccompanied children are accommodated and to Menogia Detention Centre.