#FreeKids video – Encouraging child participation in the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty

#FreeKids video – Encouraging child participation in the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty:

Professor Manfred Nowak has recorded a video to encourage child participation in the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. Professor Nowak places children at the core of the Study and calls on them to share their stories and experiences in order to help others.


Click here to see the video.


Three girls stand in the concrete yard of the women's prison at Pétionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, the capital. Behind her stands a concrete wall, topped with barbed wire. Laundry lies on the ground at her feet. Arrests of minors are frequently gang-related, with alleged offences ranging from petty crime to gun possession and assault. Children are often forcibly inducted into gangs, where they face violence from older gang members, rival gangs and the authorities. Many girls have been sexually abused, and some are HIV-positive. Once in prison, they can be held indefinitely without being charged or tried. UNICEF provides sanitation kits and educational and art supplies to this prison.  [#3 IN SEQUENCE OF SEVEN]

In December 2005 in Haiti, children face extreme poverty, violence and chronic insecurity. UNICEF's Child Alert Report on Haiti is the second in a series that documents the effect of crisis situations on children. The report, to be released on 22 March 2006, warns that decades-long political instability and weak institutions have created a climate of lawlessness and social disintegration that have exacerbated conditions of poverty. In addition, Haiti's vulnerability to natural disasters has deepened the environmental crisis of deforestation and erosion. The consequences for children are devastating. Each year, 20 per cent of children under five die from preventable illnesses, the highest child mortality rate in the Americas. Just 11 per cent of Haitians have running water in their homes, and 40 per cent have no access to safe water at all. Many thousands of children work as domestic servants or live in slums or on the streets, where they are vulnerable to gang violence, kidnapping and sexual exploitation. Only 54 per cent of children attend primary school, and of these, the majority leave school after just four years in order to work or care for younger siblings. More than 200,000 children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.

Save the date: 26th November, 2018 – Regional Consultation, Tunis

A consultation for the Middle East North Africa region will take place on November 26th – 27th, 2018 in Tunis, Tunisia. The consultation will gather government officials, child rights experts, and civil society representatives from across the region to discuss children deprived of liberty in all the settings addressed in the Study. The Independent Expert, Professor Manfred Nowak is going to present the Global Study before members of the research groups lead discussions in each of their respective areas.

The concept note in English can be found here.

The concept note in Arabic can be found here.


Regional Consultation in Montevideo, Uruguay

On October 25, 2018, a consultation was held in Montevideo, Uruguay to discuss key themes related to the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. Civil society representatives from across the region participated in discussions on children deprived of their liberty in the administration of justice, in institutions, and in the context of migration as well as those detained their parents. Professor Manfred Nowak presented the Study via video message and appointed Professor Mary Beloff, member of the Advisory Board and expert in children’s rights and criminal law, to represent the Study. Panellists and participants held vibrant discussions on the rights of the children deprived of their liberty, particular challenges for children in the Latin American region, and the need for non-custodial measures.

Professor Nowak’s video can be found here.

“There is no prison prepared for human beings. And it’s worse for children. They are treated like adults.” – Nora Laura Calandra, Red de Niñez Encarcelada (Incarcerated Children Network), Argentina