This 3-year project (October 2013-October 2016) addresses the issue of violence against children deprived of their liberty in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, by promoting an end to the use of solitary confinement of children and effective separation of children from adults at all times and in all detention facilities.
Violence against children deprived of their liberty is a severe violation of child rights. Children in care and justice institutions are at a higher risk of violence than virtually all other children. At present in these three countries there are approximately 30,000 children deprived of their liberty, and legislation in the countries is not in full compliance with international standards.
The UN Study on Violence found that in cases of isolation, or when children are detained in adult facilities, they are at a heightened risk of self-harm or suicidal behaviour. Despite solitary confinement for children being prohibited under international law, its use as a disciplinary measure in closed institutions is common across all three of the project countries. The effective separation of children from adults is also a vital measure to reduce the risk of violence against children. However, there are still breaches in practice. Addressing these issues requires action at several levels including:
- Legislative and policy changes.
- Capacity building for personnel of facilities depriving children of liberty.
- Data gathering including recording the experiences of children deprived of their liberty.
- Raising public awareness.
- Providing appropriate services to child victims of violence within the justice system.
Key project activities include:
- Advocacy and dialogue with relevant ministries and other stakeholders calling for legislative amendments to end violence against children in detention.
- Annual national and one cross-regional symposium on violence against children to discuss, develop and advocate for the implementation of new legislation and national action plans and corresponding guidelines and regulations for police, prisons and institutions caring for children in detention.
- Capacity building workshops to train all staff of facilities where children are deprived of liberty in the application of international standards and implementation of newly developed regulations
- Systematic monitoring and interviewing of children in detention facilities to collect baseline and ongoing data to document instances of violence in all three countries (Voice of the child surveys), which can be used for advocacy and awareness raising purposes
- Raising public awareness through a social media campaign
- Piloting counselling schemes for children who have been subjected to violence and their families established in each country.
Project Factsheet (English)
Read a mid-term evaluation of this programme (Autumn 2015, English)
Voice of the child: Central Asia survey 2014
Voice of the child: Central Asia survey 2015