As part of our multi-faceted programme of work to reduce and end violence against children in the criminal justice system around the world, we have produced eight country research reports aiming to increase the understanding of the specific legal and policy measures that can work to prevent and remedy violence against children. While these have been developed over the past 12 months, all eight are now available in a range of languages:
For each country, the review aims to:
- identify policy and legislative measures already in place to prevent and detect violence, to assist victims and to make perpetrators accountable;
- highlight significant gaps in provision; and
- make recommendations for improvements.
They are intended to provide a basis for further work on this issue in the countries and allows for priorities to be identified and action to be decided.
The reports focus on police and pre-trial detention settings, where children are most at risk of being subject to violence. Research was based on indicators developed from the Joint Report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children and coordinated with similar research carried out by UNICEF in a range of other countries. The indicators included:
- Does the country have systematic information and disaggregated data gathering on children in detention and on incidences of violence in particular?
- Does the country have a comprehensive policy on children’s justice?
- Are measures in place to ensure that deprivation of liberty is used as a last resort? For example, a high minimum age of criminal responsibility, diversion measures available etc.
- Is deprivation of liberty used only for the shortest time possible?
- Are children who are detained adequately protected from risks of violence? For example, properly separated from adults, looked after by well qualified staff etc.
- Are effective independent monitoring mechanisms and complaints procedures in place
- Are instances of violence properly investigated and those responsible held to account?
- Is redress and rehabilitation provided to children who may have been subject to violence?
As well as looking at legislative and policy measures, the reports also looks at implementation of these measures where they are in place and where the information was available from trustworthy sources, such as: CRC Concluding observations and shadow reports from NGOs, CAT Concluding observations and shadow report, reports to the UPR, reports to Special Rapporteur, CPT reports (Georgia/Russia), National Human Rights Institutions (CHRAGG, Ombudsman report etc) and UNICEF country assessments.
Find out more about violence against children in detention