From 27-29 May, PRI Central Asia held a three-day training workshop in Tajikistan for staff of closed facilities for children on tackling violence against children.
The workshop was led by the Vice President of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Renate Winter, together with international experts from Serbia and Kyrgyzstan and local experts. Representatives from all closed facilities – detention centres, special boarding schools and children’s homes – in the country attended, together with staff from law enforcement, the prison service, and local human rights organisations.
The objective of the training was to build the capacity of relevant agencies to reduce the number of cases of violence against children in closed facilities. A global study by the UN in 2006 found that children in places of detention are more at risk of violence and ill-treatment than any other group. Despite efforts by the government in Tajikistan to tackle the problem, monitoring by the Ombudsman’s office and by civil society organisations suggests there is a high rate of violence against children in the care of the state.
This month’s training covered children’s rights and the rights of children deprived of their liberty, the role of the state in implementing them, effective monitoring of children’s facilities, and for staff of institutions, positive alternative methods of dealing with anti-social behaviour.
The training is part of a wider PRI programme spanning Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan funded by the European Union, which aims to tackle violence against children in detention, and in particular to prevent the use of solitary confinement and to ensure that children are kept separate from adults, and girls from boys.
The training was co-hosted by PRI in Central Asia in cooperation with European Union, UNICEF Tajikistan, UN OHCHR, and the Ombudsman’s office in Tajikistan.