Scope and Methodology of the Study

The Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty will cover deprivation of liberty in all its forms, following the definition laid down in the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty 1990 (Havana Rules)

Deprivation of liberty means any form of detention or imprisonment or the placement of a person under the age of 18 in a public or private custodial setting, from which this person is not permitted to leave at will, by order of any judicial, adminsitrative or other public authority

The Study will include the following thematic clusters:

  • Criminal justice / juvenile justice / administrative detention
  • Migration / asylum seeking
  • Children in detention with their parents
  • Protection / associated with disability, health or substance abuse
  • Association with armed groups and/or national security

Given the goals, the Study will include the following elements:

LEGAL FRAMEWORK - A review of relevant legal standards.

COLLECTION OF NEW DATA - Data collection to document the numbers of children deprived of liberty, including disaggregated statistics regarding age, gender, and vulnerable groups, and the reason/basis for detention (based on the above scope). Relevant UN agencies and academic institutions should be engaged to assess existing data at national, regional and international level, and the Study should commission new research, where appropriate and feasible. Member states could be requested to provide information through government questionnaires, and similar questionnaires should be requested from civil society organizations. Methodology in the collection of primary information should take into account previous practices (UNODC, UNICEF, European Commission, Global Detention Project, Global Campaign to End Child Detention, etc.).

REVIEW OF EXISTING LITTERATURE - Submissions should be invited from relevant stakeholders, including academic institutions, non-governmental sources, and UN agencies. A literature review should include, inter alia, UN documentation, including relevant reports by UN special procedures, submissions and concluding observations from UN treaty bodies and relevant information from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

EXPERT CONSULTATIONS (THEMATIC / REGIONAL) - Deprivation of liberty can take on many different forms, with differing root causes, conditions, and impacts. Given the broad scope of the Study, a series of expert consultations on the following themes (with potential sub-themes) should take place. A number of regional expert consultations should also be held, to foster regional engagement.

CHILD PARTICIPATION - Child participation will also be incorporated into the Study. In particular, children who have been detained or confined will be consulted, so that their experiences and views are reflected and taken into account in the formulation of recommendations.

The Study will follow a participatory process, with all UN agencies and other stakeholders involved, contributing from their respective areas of expertise and knowledge bases.