The Call for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty was launched on 13 March 2014, at the United Nations Office in Geneva, supported by a number of NGOs, UN agencies and experts. On 18 December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly officially requested for the Study to be carried out. On 25 October 2016, the Secretary General welcomed the selection of Manfred Nowak as Independent expert to lead the new global study on the situation of children deprived of liberty. By resolution 71/177, the General Assembly invited the independent expert to submit a final report at its 73rd session in September 2018. PRI is a member of the core group of the NGO panel supporting the Study.
Call for information
A questionnaire is now available online for stakeholders to complete in order to provide quantitative statistical data about children deprived of liberty.
Questionnaire is available in
Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish
Since many relevant data might not be available for the past, the questionnaire requests Governments to take a special effort in collecting such data at a particular date in the near future (26 June 2018) to provide a snapshot of the number of children detained at that specific point in time.
Responses to the questionnaire should be sent in both hard copy and electronic format in one of the six official United Nations languages no later than 1 September 2018 to: Manfred Nowak, UNOG-OHCHR, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is the Study needed?
Nobody knows exactly how many children are imprisoned, detained or otherwise deprived of their liberty worldwide, but the evidence that is available shows that deprivation of liberty is both costly and damaging to children.
The lack of comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data (particularly disaggregated data), research and verified information means that States and other stakeholders cannot accurately define the scope of the problem or access adequate information on alternatives to detention that may be more beneficial to both children and society.
What will the Study do?
The Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty will comprehensively collect data and statistics from across regions on the number and situation of children in detention, and will study and share good practices to help shape more effective policies and practices. It would also add to the information base, raise the issue on political agendas, increase coordination and provide guidance on more effective protection of children’s rights.
‘The Global Study on Children Deprivation of Liberty is to encompass children involved in criminal justice systems, children in need of protection, children with physical or mental disabilities, children exposed to drug abuse, children detained with their parents, children in immigration detention, and those suspected of threats to national security.
This Study will collect qualitative and quantitative data on the situation of children in detention, while also registering good practices, such as non-custodial measures, which work in the best interests of the child.
It will take a collaborative approach with the involvement of a range of actors, including agencies of the United Nations agencies and experts, States, civil society organizations, academia and children themselves.’
What has happened so far?
On 25 October 2016, the Secretary General welcomed the selection of Manfred Nowak as Independent Expert to lead the new global study on the situation of children deprived of liberty. By resolution 71/177, the General Assembly invited the independent expert to submit a final report at its 73rd session in September 2018.
During 2018, research groups will collect data and practices under each of the types of detention.
A timeline for steps taken so far can be found here.
Find out more
Visit the microsite for the Study for more information, including an Advocacy Brochure and Frequently Asked Questions: