Europe

Council of Europe: detention of lone minors 'unacceptable'

  • Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, left, stands next to a migrant boy as they watch a French channel on a laptop at a facility housing unaccompanied children in Athens, Thursday, May 26, 2016. Jagland, one of Europe's top human rights officials, says it is "unacceptable" that any refugee and migrant children who arrive on the continent unaccompanied by their parents are held in detention centers, and called on European countries to ensure such children can be housed in special facilities and quickly reunited with their families. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, left, stands next to a migrant boy as they watch a French channel on a laptop at a facility housing unaccompanied children in Athens, Thursday, May 26, 2016. Jagland, one of Europe's top human rights officials, says it is "unacceptable" that any refugee and migrant children who arrive on the continent unaccompanied by their parents are held in detention centers, and called on European countries to ensure such children can be housed in special facilities and quickly reunited with their families. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Refugee boys play cards at a facility housing unaccompanied children in Athens, Thursday, May 26, 2016. One of Europe's top human rights officials, says it is "unacceptable" that any refugee and migrant children who arrive on the continent unaccompanied by their parents are held in detention centers, and called on European countries to ensure such children can be housed in special facilities and quickly reunited with their families. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Refugee boys play cards at a facility housing unaccompanied children in Athens, Thursday, May 26, 2016. One of Europe's top human rights officials, says it is "unacceptable" that any refugee and migrant children who arrive on the continent unaccompanied by their parents are held in detention centers, and called on European countries to ensure such children can be housed in special facilities and quickly reunited with their families. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A migrant boy sits on the steps of a a facility housing unaccompanied children in Athens, Thursday, May 26, 2016. One of Europe's top human rights officials, says it is "unacceptable" that any refugee and migrant children who arrive on the continent unaccompanied by their parents are held in detention centers, and called on European countries to ensure such children can be housed in special facilities and quickly reunited with their families. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A migrant boy sits on the steps of a a facility housing unaccompanied children in Athens, Thursday, May 26, 2016. One of Europe's top human rights officials, says it is "unacceptable" that any refugee and migrant children who arrive on the continent unaccompanied by their parents are held in detention centers, and called on European countries to ensure such children can be housed in special facilities and quickly reunited with their families. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

One of Europe's top human rights officials says it is "unacceptable" that any unaccompanied refugee and migrant children who arrive on the continent are held in detention centers, and called on European countries to ensure such children can be housed in special facilities and quickly reunited with their families.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland also voiced criticism Thursday over the increasingly restrictive legislation some European countries are adopting that would make it harder for such children to be reunited with parents already living in Europe.

Speaking after visiting a facility in Athens housing 24 such children, Jagland said he would appeal to European institutions, the European Commission and all 47 Council of Europe member states to help Greece finance efforts to care for unaccompanied minors.