Defence for Children International, together with partner NGOs, including Penal Reform International, are launching a Call for a Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty today at the United Nations Office in Geneva.
Press release, 13 March 2014
Today at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Defence for Children International (DCI), in collaboration with partner NGOs*, hosts the official launch of the Call for a global study on children deprived of their liberty. This event is supported by the Permanent Missions of Austria, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, State of Qatar, Eastern Republic of Uruguay; and includes the participation of Ms. Marta Santos Pais, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children and Ms. Renate Winter, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The Call for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty derives from the need to comprehensively collect data and statistics from across regions on the number and situation of children in custody; share good practices; and formulate recommendations for effective measures to prevent human rights violations against children in custody and reduce the number of children deprived of liberty.
Deprivation of liberty has very negative consequences for the child’s harmonious development and is to be a “measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time”. Children deprived of liberty are exposed to increased risks of abuse, violence, acute social discrimination and denial of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights; certain disadvantaged groups are more affected than others; and society is affected at large as deprivation of liberty tends to increase social exclusion, recidivism rates, and public expenditure.
The Study will take into account deprivation of liberty in all its forms, including: children in conflict with the law; children confined due to physical or mental health or drug use; children living in detention with their parents; immigration detention; children detained for their protection; national security; etc. In order to ensure that deprivation of liberty is clearly understood and thus used as a measure of last resort, there is also critical need to improve the clarity around key concepts which are related to children’s rights and deprivation of liberty.
The Study will map out, through monitoring and evaluation analysis, how existing international laws and standards are being implemented on the ground and assess the concrete possibilities for States to improve their policies and responses. Through the collection of sound evidence and reliable data, the Study will also provide a consolidation of good practices and the formulation of recommendations, to support the work of States, UN agencies and other stakeholders to more effectively implement international standards and ensure that children deprived of their liberty actually enjoy their human rights.
* African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), Casa Alianza (Switzerland), Child Helpline International (CHI), Child Rights International Network (CRIN), Consortium for Street Children, Coram Children’s Legal Centre, Defence for Children International (DCI), Geneva Infant Feeding Association – International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN-GIFA), Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Institut international des Droits de l’Enfant (IDE), International Catholic Child Bureau (ICCB/BICE), International Detention Coalition (IDC), International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO), Our Children Foundation, Penal Reform International (PRI), Plan International, Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), Terre des Hommes International Federation, War Child Holland (WCH), World Organization Against Torture (OMCT).
Read the call in other languages
Flyer for the launch event.
Statement to the Human Rights Council, 13 March