NOVEMBER 2018:

REGIONAL CONSULTATION IN TUNIS, TUNISIA 

On November 26th – 27th, 2018, a consultation for the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region was held in Tunis, Tunisia. The consultation gathered more than 60 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.

Professor Manfred Nowak presented the Study and in-depth workshops were held to identify the ways in which children are deprived of their liberty, particular challenges for children in the MENA region, and non-custodial measures. A workshop on children’s consultations and their views on deprivation of liberty was also held.

OCTOBER 2018:

REGIONAL CONSULTATION, 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.

 “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

 

NORTH AMERICAN CONSULTATION FOR THE UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL STUDY ON CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY

On October 10, 2018, a North American Consultation was held in support of the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty in New York City, United States of America. The consultation was hosted by the Justice Lab at Columbia University.

The consultation opened with a presentation by the Independent Expert leading the Global Study, Professor Manfred Nowak, who presented the current status of the Study, underlining the progress that had been made to date, including the more than 80 questionnaires received and the consultations previously held in Asia, Africa, and South Africa.

It then opened up to a panel of experts including Melissa Sickmund, Director of the National Center for Juvenile Justice, Candice Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Welfare Foundation, former Director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, Hernan Carvente, National Youth Partnership Strategist, James Bell (by video), Founder and President of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, Heather Renwick, Legal Director of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, Marcy Mistrett, CEO of the Campaign for Youth Justice, Jennifer Nagda, Policy Director, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago Law School, and Elizabeth Clarke, from Juvenile Justice Iniciative. 

The panellists discussed the scale of deprivation of liberty of children in the criminal justice system, including children who are placed in the adult system, in the USA, the harm such detention has on children as well as on their families and communities, and the needs for alternatives. Liz Ryan of Youth First Initiative presented Professor Nowak with data on children deprived of liberty in the administration of justice in the USA on behalf of several non-governmental organisations.

“Part of the experience of being incarcerated is I have those memories to this day. Those memories of incarceration never leave me. I continue to remember every day that experience and try to avoid dealing with that. But throughout the course of my time in that facility, I developed several other mental health issues, which to this day, I have been officially diagnosed for with PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and these are things that were exacerbated by the conditions of incarceration and certainly were exacerbated because the different challenges that I experienced while I was there.” –  Hernan Carvente, National Youth Partnership Strategist
 
 
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  • The full consultation can be found online here.

 

PROFESSOR MANFRED NOWAK’S UPDATE ON THE GLOBAL STUDY AT THE 73RD SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIRD COMMITTEE 

 On Tuesday, October 9, 2018, during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly Third Committee panel discussion on the rights of the child, Professor Manfred Nowak, the Independent Expert for the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty did an update on the study’s progress and implementation phase.

The full speech can be found below:

“Thank you very much Mr./Mrs. Chairperson for the opportunity to address the Third Committee of the General Assembly,

Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

In 2014, in resolution 69/157, the Assembly invited the Secretary-General to commission an in-depth global study on children deprived of liberty, funded through voluntary contributions and conducted in close cooperation with relevant United Nations agencies and in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including Member States, civil society, academia and children, and to include good practices and recommendations for action to effectively realize all relevant rights of the child,

Following an extension in 2017, I will present a comprehensive Global Study to you one year from now.

The Study’s implementation phase was severely delayed due to lack of funding which was to come through voluntary contributions. Indeed, most of 2017 was dedicated to concerted fundraising efforts, to build an initial funding base for the Study to be realized. These efforts proved positive as approximately 1 million USD was raised by means of contributions received by Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Malta, Qatar, the European Union (EU), UNICEF and a private foundation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our friends of the Global Study for truly having saved the Study through their support. The need to continue joint fundraising efforts however remains, since the Global Study is still operating on essentially one fifth of its total budget.

Due to the funding challenges, the Study only commenced its effective implementation phase in early 2018, which included the adoption of a methodological framework to guide and structure the Study process.

Despite our limited resources, our joint activities have been maximized, and the Study has managed to enter its implementation phase with data being collected and good practices identified by means of a specific questionnaire and consultations, as well as thematic chapters being drafted by different research groups. The Global Study Team at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights now coordinates 9 research groups with more than 100 innovative, hard-working and committed researchers and practitioners across all continents. Next to the growing research network, an expanding and vibrant civil society network carries the Global Study. That said, I wish to thank all UN agencies, NGOs and academic institutions for their invaluable input pro bono. This does not go un-noticed and is deeply appreciated. The Global Study will be a truly joint achievement of many different Stakeholders.

In February 2018, a questionnaire to inform the Global Study was circulated to all member States and other stakeholders by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), and a reminder was circulated again in June 2018. To date a total of 86 replies have been received (53 from States and 33 from other relevant actors including UN agencies, National Human Rights Institutions, Ombudspersons, National Preventive Mechanisms and Non-Governmental Organizations). I take the opportunity to thank those who submitted a reply to the questionnaire and I am happy to see that many different actors are actively engaging in this important process, which shall leave a sustainable blueprint for all governments for future data collection on the situation of children deprived of liberty.

A total of six consultations already took place and four others will follow soon: Warsaw, Poland; Brussels, EU; Bangkok, Thailand; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Paris, France; Pretoria, South Africa; New York, United States; and upcoming consultations will take place in Montevideo, Uruguay (at the end of October); Tunis, Tunisia (November) and Montego Bay, Jamaica (December). Furthermore, two expert meetings took place in Venice in 2017 and in Vienna in 2018. I take this opportunity to thank all of those actors who supported the Global Study in providing these vital platforms and their expertise.

Moving forward, in 2019, the Study will enter its final phase, wherein the desk research carried out by the various research groups and the data received through the questionnaires and consultations will be consolidated into different chapters of the Global Study. It is foreseen that an expert meeting takes place in March 2019, to critically review all of the information gathered. This meeting would include members of the Advisory Board, leads of the different research groups and members of the United Nations Interagency Taskforce as well as children as they are experts in their own rights. A Global Study on children cannot happen without the active involvement of children.

Notwithstanding the achievements reached to date, challenges remain. Last year, when I addressed the Third Committee, I hoped not to have to come back to the financial situation; to be able to report that the funding situation was no longer our concern. However, we still require further funding to ensure the Study is completed to the best extent possible and in a professional manner. I call again on member States to step up and support this important process, particularly considering how far we have come with extremely limited resources. Let us not lose this momentum for children’s rights just because of financial shackles.

I am deeply convinced that the Global Study will have a milestone impact on the situation of children deprived of liberty. In the almost thirty years since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the issue of children being deprived of liberty has never been adequately addressed and continues to lag behind compared to other areas of the international treaty. Deprivation of liberty is an extremely serious issue, not only violating basic international human rights obligations but exposing each and every child who is detained, for whatever reason, to further human rights violations. With immigration detention currently on the rise, there seems to be more regression than improvement in the situation.

Dear friends, let me remind you, why it is important that the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty is a success. Deprivation of liberty of children is not merely an issue of international legal obligations not being fulfilled, but it has serious harmful effects on the mental and physical health and development of children and on society at large. Witnessing children behind bars during my time as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture was heart-breaking, as many children are tortured, neglected or isolated and crying for help. The youngest victim I met was a three-year-old orphan in a terrifying institution that warehoused boys in a variety of situations and employed daily beatings for minor infractions.

The Global Study aims to bridge the data gap on the number of children in such situations and raise awareness about the risks posed to society as a whole. The Study will also develop evidence-based recommendations and compile best practices to help States uphold international obligations and reduce the number of children deprived of liberty – making children’s rights a reality and leaving no child behind.

I thank you for your time and attention and welcome any questions, comments or pledges you may have.”

SEPTEMBER 2018:

THE NGO PANEL DELIVERS A STATEMENT AT THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL’S 39TH SESSION

On September 12, 2018, the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE) delivered a statement on behalf of the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, during the Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at the UN Human Rights Council’s 39th session.

The NGO Panel took the opportunity to thank the Working Group for its extensive revision of deliberation No. 5 on the deprivation of liberty of migrants, especially for highlighting that the deprivation of liberty of asylum-seeking, refugees, stateless, and migrant children, including unaccompanied or separated children, is prohibited, and for highlighting the need for alternatives to detention.

In this respect, the NGO Panel called on States to support the Global Study by providing more quality, disaggregated data on children deprived of liberty and examples of alternatives to detention in their countries, participating in the upcoming consultations, and contributing with political and financial support.

 
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DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY AT THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 39TH SESSION

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 39th session took place from September 10 to 28, 2018 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Deprivation of liberty was an issue that the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty followed during the session, participating in the plenary sessions and side events, meetings with different stakeholders and conducting advocacy. Deprivation of liberty was discussed on these occasions:

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Opening Session

The newly-appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, addressed the Council for the first time. She highlighted that separating and detaining families offers no long-term solutions to anyone – only more hostility, misery, suffering, and chaos. Several States also showed concern at the increase of migrant children being detained and families being separated.

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

On September 12, 2018, during the Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Mr. Seong-Phil Hong, Chair of the Group, noted that there was an increasing emergence of deprivation of liberty not only in prisons but also in migration centres and medical institutions, including of children. He presented the Working Group’s report on Consular assistance and diplomatic protection for persons deprived of liberty and the linkages between arbitrary detention and instances of torture and ill-treatment. This report includes, in its annex, the revised deliberation No. 5 on deprivation of liberty of migrants. As stated by Hong, this revision reflects changes in international law and jurisprudence during the last 20 years.

The International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE) delivered a statement on behalf of the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty thanking the Group for highlighting that the deprivation of liberty of asylum-seeking, refugee, stateless, and migrant children, including unaccompanied or separated children, is prohibited, and for clearly mentioning the need for alternatives to detention. The NGO Panel also called on States to support the Global Study by providing more quality, disaggregated data on children deprived of liberty and examples of alternatives to detention in their countries as well as by participating in the upcoming consultations and contributing with political and financial support.

Side Event with Professor Manfred Nowak

On September 10, during a side event organised by the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein and the All Survivors Project on “Hidden Victims: Sexual Violence against Men and Boys in Conflict.” Professor Manfred Nowak noted that boys are also victims of sexual violence when deprived of their liberty. He emphasized that this is an under-reported and taboo topic. According to international law, children should always be separated from adults, but the reality is that they are often detained with adults, and this can exacerbate the of sexual violence between men and boys. As the Independent Expert leading the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, he reminded the audience that the Global Study addresses different settings of deprivation of liberty, including in the context of armed conflict and for migration-related reasons.

Side Event: “Arbitrary detention in the Americas: The Cases of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Mexico”

On September 12, at a side event on arbitrary detention organised by the Mexican Commission of Human Rights, cases of people being arbitrarily detained, mostly journalists, politics and civil society members, was discussed. It was highlighted that this is contradictory to international and human rights law. Human Rights Watch reported that, according to their findings, among the people detained in Nicaragua during the demonstrations, 10 were children.

Side Event: “The Human Rights Situation and Changes of Peace in Yemen”

On September 19, at a side event organised by the Permanent Mission of Yemen on the human rights situation in the country, the Minister of Human Rights of Yemen said that the situation in the country is very concerning, with Yemenis suffering from all forms of human rights violations. Hundreds of people had been detained, most arbitrarily, and some in secret prisons, including children.

 

JULY 2018:

THEMATIC CONSULTATION ON INSTITUTIONS IN PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

A thematic consultation on children deprived of liberty in institutions was held in Pretoria, South Africa from July 26-27, 2018. It was hosted by the Centre for Child Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria together with UNICEF. The consultation gathered representatives from several international non-governmental organisations such as Defence for Children International (DCI), Hope and Homes, Lumos, Disability Rights International, SOS Children Villages International, the Better Care Network, the Center for Disability Law and Policy as well as UNICEF and the CELCIS Centre of the University of Strathclyde.

The consultation started with keynote speeches from Professor Manfred Nowak, the Independent Expert leading the Study; Johann van der Westhuizen, the Inspecting Judge of Prisons in South Africa and retired Justice of the South African Constitutional Court, also currently the Head of the Department of Jurisprudence in the Faculty of Law; and Professor Ann Skelton from Centre for Child Law of the University of Pretoria.

It featured rich discussions on key topics relevant to children deprived of their liberty in institutions, including definitional challenges, the causes and consequences of such practices and the specific situation of children with disabilities, migrant children, orphans, lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex children, and children with “behavioural” problems, among others. The discussions from the consultation will feed into the Study and addressed the identification of interesting practices, the need for a de-institutionalisation process, and the recommendations that should be addressed to all stakeholders.

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JUNE 2018:

CENSUS SNAPSHOT DAY

On June 26, 2018 — International Day in Support of Victims of Torture — Professor Nowak, the Independent Expert leading the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty called for countries around the world to complete the questionnaire by counting the number of all children deprived of liberty in different contexts. This aimed at providing a snapshot of the number of children detained at that specific point in time.

 

DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY AT THE 38TH SESSION OF THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 38th session took place from June 18 to July 6, 2018 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Health on Deprivation of Liberty

On June 18, 2018, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Mr. Dainius Puras, presented his thematic report on the right to health in the context of confinement and deprivation of liberty, which included a focus on children deprived of liberty. He regretted that, in the 21st century, uncountable millions of children continue to be detained or awaiting trial, highlighting the negative impact that deprivation of liberty has on the right to physical, psychological, mental, and emotional health on children as well as poor sanitation, lack of fresh air and safe drinking water, and physical and sexual abuse by staff and peers. The Special Rapporteur called for the abolition of detention of children, stating that children should only be deprived of their liberty in very exceptional situations. Alternatives to detention, investing in families at risk, helping children to have good skills to live in the community, and involving adolescents in preventive programmes, were some his recommendations. Read a shortened version of his findings here.

Defence for Children International (DCI) , on behalf of the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, delivered a statement during the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur . The NGO Panel welcomed the Special Rapporteur’s report and called on Member States and observers to engage with the Study, including by answering the questionnaire. The International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE) also delivered a statement welcoming the Special Rapporteur’s reference about the adverse conditions that affect physical and mental health on children deprived of liberty or confined and calling for engagement with the Global Study.

Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants Highlights Dangers of Deprivation of Liberty

On June 19, Mr. Felipe González Morales, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, presented his report on the return and reintegration of migrants. He noted that, under international human rights law, children should never be detained for immigration purposes, nor can detention be justified as being in a child’s best interests. He stated that alternatives to deprivation of liberty must be found, including family-based solutions. Furthermore, he expressed concern about children being separated from their families, especially considering that migrant children in many countries were not being provided with the basic services they needed. During the interactive dialogue with Mr. González Morales, Austria highlighted the lack of information around detention of children including numbers, location, and conditions of detention, and called upon governments to engage with the Global Study, including by answering the official questionnaire and providing relevant quantitative and qualitative data. Expressing similar concerns, UNICEF and several non-governmental organisations, including VIDES and Human Rights Law Centre showed concern regarding the growing number of children being detained, deported, and separated from their families. ECPAT International urged member States to support the Global Study, including by providing disaggregated data on boys and girls in detention.

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MAY 2018:

WORLD CONGRESS ON JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN, UNESCO HOUSE, PARIS, FRANCE

The World Congress on Justice for Children took place on May 28-30, 2018 in Paris, France. Three major issues were addressed in the Congress: the global trend towards children’s involvement in violent extremism and possible responses, the need for more effective ways to reduce juvenile offending and recidivism, and how to improve protection mechanisms for vulnerable children, including early prevention. Numerous professionals and stakeholders from all around the world shared their perspectives on youth and family justice and the prevention of offending and violent extremism. A Declaration was adopted as an outcome to the Congress – a call and commitment for all children’s rights defenders to unite and build on the Conference to bring about true justice for all children everywhere and safeguard children from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. You can read the Paris Declaration, the outcome of the World Congress on Justice for Children here.

Professor Manfred Nowak was a speaker on the keynote panel, many members of the NGO Panel were speakers and facilitators on different panels and workshops, and various activities and meetings were held in relation with the UN Global Study. Professor Nowak held a briefing session with state representatives on the Study and responding to the Questionnaire. He also met with the NGO Panel to discuss NGO engagement with the Global Study and to respond to questions directly from the Panel.

 

AFRICAN REGIONAL CONSULTATION IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

A regional consultation for the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty was held during the Continental Conference on Access to Justice for Children in Africa on May 10, 2018. The conference addressed a range of topics on access to justice for children in different contexts across Africa, several of which involved the deprivation of liberty of children. It also marked the launch of the report, “Spotlighting the Invisible: Justice for Children in Africa, and ended with a Call to Action setting out concrete steps for key actors, including governments, African Union bodies, and civil society.

The topics discussed during the Global Study regional consultation on the third day included the deprivation of liberty related to the administration of justice, armed conflict and national security, and in the context of migration. It was well-attended by government officials, civil society representatives and academics from across the region. Findings from this consultation, as for all consultations, feed into the Global Study.

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ASEAN REGIONAL CONSULTATION IN BANGKOK, THAILAND

An ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) regional consultation on juvenile justice reform, held in Bangkok, Thailand from May 2-4, was also used as a regional consultation for the Study. Professor Manfred Nowak gave plenary presentations on both the Study as a whole, as well as the questionnaire in particular. Representatives of nearly all research groups were present and led day-long sessions to get input from participants on the Study’s themes. The consultation included government representatives from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) country offices and national human rights institutions.

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APRIL 2018:

SYMPOSIUM “DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY OF CHILDREN IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM – TOWARDS A GLOBAL RESEARCH AGENDA”, UNIVERSITY OF LEIDEN, THE NETHERLANDS

On April 13, 2018, the Child Law department of the Leiden University hosted the international symposium “Deprivation of Liberty of Children in The Justice System – Towards a Global Research Agenda”. The symposium brought together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars, practitioners, advocates and representatives of non-governmental organisations  and governments to exchange research and knowledge about deprivation of liberty of children in the context of juvenile criminal justice. The main aim was to develop a global and interdisciplinary research agenda for the UN Global Study.

 

EXPERTS AND ADVISORY BOARD MEETING FOR ADOPTION OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The Experts and the Advisory Board of the United Nations Global Study met in Vienna, Austria, on April 10-11, 2018.  This meeting reflected the new phase of the UN Global Study – implementation. The main outcomes were the appointment and first meeting of the Advisory Board and the finalization and adoption of the research methodology. Cross-cutting issues such as the impact of deprivation on liberty on children’s health, gender, and child participation will also be included in the study. Five research groups were established: children deprived of liberty in the administration of justice; children living in places of detention with their parents; children deprived of liberty for migration-related reasons; children deprived of liberty in institutions; and children deprived of liberty related to armed conflict and national security. Each of these research groups comprises a research institution/academia, a UN focal point, an NGO focal point, and Advisory Board Members.


 

MARCH 2018:

EXPERT LEVEL MEETING WITH MEMBER STATES TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

An Expert Level Meeting on the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty was convened during the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 8, 2018. The questionnaire sent to governments and other stakeholders in February was presented. Participants also discussed the institutional framework around the UN Global Study and the mobilization of political support and commitments to support the effective implementation of the Study.

The NGO Panel also met with the Independent Expert, Professor Nowak, to discuss recent developments and put questions to Professor Nowak concerning the next stages of the Study implementation.

Keynote speaker: Professor Manfred Nowak, Independent Expert for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty

Click here to download the program


 

JANUARY 2018:

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE OF THE GLOBAL STUDY ON CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY

Substantive funds have been raised, ensuring that the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty effectively moves ahead and into its implementation phase. DCI, together with 139 NGOs from across the globe, officially form the “NGO Panel” for the Study. All of which will be involved in actively contributing to the collection of data and information on the issue of children deprived of liberty and provide important recommendations on how to best uphold the rights of the child in such circumstances

 

NOVEMBER 2017:

11TH EUROPEAN FORUM ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD IN BRUSSELS

The 11th European Forum on the Rights of the Child was held in Brussels (Belgium), on 06-08 November 2017, and focused on alternatives to detention. On the first day, experts and key actors such as Marta Santos Pais (Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence against Children), Renate Winter (Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child), Manfred Nowak (Independent Expert for the Global Study) – among others – gathered to discuss regional and international commitments on children deprived of liberty; personal testimonies were as well shared during the discussions. The second day consisted in four parallel sessions on I. children in conflict with the law, II. detention of children in the context of migration, III. children in institutions and IV. children of parents in prison.

Moreover, on the fringes of the EU Forum, a data collection meeting was held with key actors in order to discuss this important component of the Global Study. The meeting was moderated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) together with the Independent Expert for the Study, Professor Nowak, and EU representatives participated, as well as relevant UN agencies and NGOs.

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OCTOBER 2017:

OSCE HUMAN DIMENSION SEMINAR ON RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

The Independent Expert participated in the Human Dimension Seminar on “Rights of the Child: Children in Situations of Risk” in Warsaw, Poland, on 11-12 October, organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The Seminar included a specific Working Group on children deprived of liberty and three Regional Consultations on the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty (I. Children In Conflict with the Law, II. Children In Institutions, III. Children in Migration Detention). Defence for Children International (DCI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), co-conveners of the NGO Panel, attended this event.

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THE INDEPENDENT EXPERT, PROFESSOR NOWAK, BRIEFS THE UNITED NATIONS AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK

On 10 October 2017 the Independent Expert for the Study, Professor Nowak, updated the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. In his speech, the Expert explained that although he received funding from Switzerland, Austria and a private donation, substantive funding was still required to ensure an effective outcome of this important initiative. To this end DCI, as co-convenor of the NGO Panel, prepared an apposite public statement and the Independent Expert a specific OP ED.

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SEPTEMBER 2017:

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
RESOLUTION ON HR IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, INCLUDING JUVENILE JUSTICE

During the 36th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (11-29 September 2017), the biannual resolution on Human Rights in the Administration of Justice, including Juvenile Justice, was adopted without a vote. DCI actively contributed to the drafting of the text, ensuring child rights principles be included and enhanced, and that the Study be further supported.

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SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

A social media campaign was launched around the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and in light of the Independent’s Expert’s brief thereto, to further galvanize support for the Study, in particular financial support to ensure its effective implementation.


 

MARCH 2017:

EXPERT MEETING IN VENICE

An expert meeting “Methodology, Data Collection and Way Forward” was held in Venice (Italy), on 13-14 March 2017, to gather key actors involved in the development of the Global Study. The main focus was to review and finalize a draft in-depth questionnaire – a data and information gathering tool to be transmitted to States.

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
SIDE-EVENT “IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UN GLOBAL STUDY ON CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY”

During the 34th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (27 February-24 March 2017), the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty organized a side-event “Implementation of the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty” (8 March 2017). The event was supported by the Delegation of the European Union and the Permanent Missions of Austria, Chile, Switzerland, and Uruguay to the United Nations in Geneva.

This side-event aimed to encourage all stakeholders to contribute and support the implementation of the Study, and discuss the different phases of the Study and its methodology.

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SEPTEMBER 2016:

UNITED NATIONS SUMMIT ON MIGRATION:
STOP IMMIGRATION DETENTION OF CHILDREN

In light of the United Nations High-Level Plenary meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants (19 September 2016, New York), the NGO Panel made a press release calling upon member States to put an end to the immigration detention of children, and to support the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, which will include a specific thematic cluster on children in immigration detention.

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APRIL 2016:

ADVOCACY AND LOBBY AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION ON DRUGS

Defence for Children International (DCI), as co-convener to the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, attended the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem (19-21 April 2016, New York).

DCI lobbied around the outcome document (A/S-30/L.1), in order to ensure the rights of the child were positively addressed; also attending the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) which included the UNGASS Preparatory Session (14-22 March 2016, Vienna). To this end, a joint statement was drafted together with Child Rights International Network (CRIN), Defence for Children International (DCI), International Centre on Human Rights and Drugs Policy (ICHRDP) – University of Essex, International Juvenile Justice Observatory (OIJJ), Consortium for Street Children, NNAPEs – Plataforma Regional por la Defensa de los Derechos de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes con referentes adultos privados de libertad (Regional Platform for the Protection of the Rights of Children of Incarcerated Adults, and Make Mothers Matter International.

During the UNGASS, DCI organized a roundtable discussion with key players (UN agencies, member States, academics and civil society organizations) all working on the issue of children and drugs. The discussions focused on how to address the drug issue and specifically how to prevent children coming into the justice system due to involvement with drugs (drug use, drug production, drug trafficking).

DCI successfully lobbied the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to join a statement together with other United Nations mechanisms addressing the world drug problem.

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MARCH 2016:

SIDE-EVENT AND STATEMENT AT THE 31ST SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The NGO Panel organized a side-event to the 31st regular session of the Human Rights Council on Thursday 10 March 2016, together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Special Representatives to the Secretary General (SRSGs) on Violence against Children and Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and UNICEF; with the support of the Permanent Missions of Switzerland, Norway, Algeria and Uruguay to the United Nations.

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Jan Eliasson, delivered a video message, stressing that “children who are deprived of liberty fall into a statistical vacuum, with numbers of these children potentially ranging anywhere from the tens of thousands to the millions”.

In addition Defence for Children International (DCI), on behalf of the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, delivered an oral statement during the 31st regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, within the Interactive Dialogue with the United Nations Special Representative on Violence against Children (08 March 2016).

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JANUARY 2016:

COUNCIL OF EUROPE SUPPORTS THE GLOBAL STUDY

Council of Europe integrates the Global Study in its new strategy

The Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty is formally supported and included in the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016 – 2021)by the Committee of Experts on the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (DECS-ENF 2016, section 4.2, paragraph 54).

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DECEMBER 2015:

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Rights of the Child (A/RES/70/137, paragraph 54), recalls previous Resolution calling for the Study and encourages member States, United Nations agencies, funds, programmes and offices, as well as other relevant stakeholders to support the elaboration of the Study.


 

NOVEMBER 2015:

UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY

On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) the United Nations Secretary General made an official statement explaining the Study and calling on member States to come together to assemble resources to take the study forward.

“On Universal Children’s Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to a future in which no child is left behind, including those deprived of their liberty” – UNSG Ban Ki-moon”


 

OCTOBER 2015:

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, INCLUDING JUVENILE JUSTICE

The United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Human rights in the administration of justice, including juvenile justice (A/HRC/30/7, paragraph 26) supports the invitation made by the General Assembly to the Secretary-General to commission an in-depth global study on children deprived of liberty.


 

SEPTEMBER 2015:

GIRLS IN DETENTION: SIDE-EVENT AT THE 29TH SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

Defence for Children International (DCI) co-organized a side event on “Girls in Detention” (18 June) together with Penal Reform International (PRI) and the Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence against Children (O/SRSG/VAC). The event was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in Geneva. Panellists included representatives from the Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence against Children, the Women Human Rights and Gender Section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as representative from Penal Reform International (PRI) and our colleague Vilma Amparo Gomez Pava of DCI – Colombia. The discussions identified the obstacles and challenges which compromise the realisation of girls’ rights in the criminal justice system. Discussions covered how to foster the adoption of gender-responsive policies; establish child-friendly justice systems that are sensitive to girls’ particular needs; set effective complaints mechanisms and remedies accessible to girls; ensure that justice systems are accessible and do not discriminate and re-victimize girls.

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JULY 2015:

SUPPORT FROM UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVES

The annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to the United Nations General Assembly (A/70/162 paragraph 17 ) formally supports the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and expresses her office’s availability to contribute thereto.

The annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children to the United Nations General Assembly (A/70/289 paragraphs 3/25, 121.d) also supports the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.

The report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/28/68, paragraph 68) specifically focused on children deprived of liberty, addressing children in conflict with the law, children in institutions, Children in administrative immigration detention institutions. Furthermore, the report explicitly welcomes the commission of a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and the appointment of an independent expert to lead it.

The annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children to the Human Rights Council (A /HRC/28/55 paragraph 139), expressed her office’s full commitment to contributing to the Study’s development, underscoring that the Study will provide a strategic opportunity to prevent girls’ deprivation of liberty, and associated risks of stigmatization and violence; safeguard girls’ rights as victims, witnesses and alleged perpetrators; and promote their long-lasting recovery and reintegration.

The annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (A/HRC/28/54, paragraph 30) reiterates the office’s support and cooperation to the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.


 

APRIL 2015:

UNITED NATIONS CONGRESS ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Defence for Children International (DCI) and Human Rights Watch also participated in the Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (12-19 April 2015, Doha), organizing a specific event on “The Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty” together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, to lobby support and also to ensure the Study was explicitly mentioned in the final outcome document of the Congress, the Doha Declaration (A/CONF.222/L.6, paragraph 5.e).

A statement was also presented to support these lobbying efforts and the event was picked up by regional media

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MARCH 2015:

SIDE-EVENT “CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY, A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE” AT THE 28TH SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 

During the 28th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty organized a side-event “Children Deprived of Liberty, a global perspective” (10 March 2015). The event was supported by the Permanent Missions of Switzerland, Norway, Qatar and Uruguay to the United Nations in Geneva. Key speakers included the United Nations Special Representatives to the Secretary General on Violence against Children and on Children and Armed Conflicts, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. The aim of the event was to keep the Global Study on the United Nation’s agenda as they decide how and who will lead its realization. You can view the webcast online and the full report of the event here .

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JANUARY 2015:

WORLD CONGRESS ON JUVENILE JUSTICE

Defence for Children International (DCI), actively participated in the World Congress on Juvenile Justice (26-30 January 2015), with a specific presentation on the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and DCI also acted as key note speaker in the concluding remarks of the Congress. In addition, DCI lobbied to ensure the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty was included in the final declaration of the Congress (paragraph 17).

The former Independent Expert for the United Nations Study on Violence (2006), Professor Paulo Pinheiro, sent an official letter to the United Nations Secretary General supporting the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and the appointment of an Independent Expert to guide its implementation.

Six former chairpersons of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child also made a public statementsupporting the Study and the appointment of an Expert.

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DECEMBER 2014:

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION – THE GLOBAL STUDY IS REQUESTED

The United Nations General Assembly officially requested the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty to be carried out through its Resolution on the Rights of the Child (A/RES/69/157 paragraph 51.d), marking the success of the campaign led by the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and the concrete advancement of the Study’s realization.

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NOVEMBER 2014:

LETTER TO UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL & SUPPORT FROM UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE

Official letter addressed to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, to urge the appointment of an Independent Expert to lead the Study, in order to ensure a comprehensive & collaborative approach.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Juan Mendez, also made an official statement to this end.

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OCTOBER 2014:

HIGH-LEVEL EVENT IN NEW YORK

Defence for Children International (DCI) and Human Rights Watch, as co-convenors of the NGO Panel for the Study, organized a high level event in New York.

The panel discussion underlined the lack of data on children deprived of liberty and the need to appoint an Independent Expert to lead the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. This event took place in parallel to the negotiations around the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Rights of the Child. DCI and Human Rights Watch lobbied Permanent Missions to the United Nations in New York to ensure the text of the resolution would include a formal request for the Study.

In addition, DCI on behalf of the NGO Panel, made a press release to support its lobbying efforts around the text of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Rights of the Child, as the explicit reference to Independent Expert was removed.

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SEPTEMBER 2014:

STATEMENT AT THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 27TH SESSION

Defence for Children International (DCI), on behalf of the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, delivered an oral statement on the occasion of the 27thregular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, during the panel discussion on the protection of the human rights of persons deprived of their liberty (10 September 2016), calling on the members of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to support the launch and execution of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.

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JULY 2014: 

COUNCIL OF EUROPE SUPPORTS THE CAMPAIGN

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a Juvenile Justice Resolution(No. 2010/2014, paragraph 7), urging member States to adopt child-centred, specialized juvenile justice systems and explicitly supporting the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.

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JUNE 2014: 

EXPERT CONSULTATION 

Defence for Children International (DCI) as lead for the NGO Panel, organized an Expert Consultation at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (13 June 2014), involving UN experts and agencies, member States, academia and civil society to discuss eventual implementation, including methodology, for the realization of the Study. The full report of the Expert Consultation, which includes important examples and ideas from a variety of key actors, is available.

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26th SESSION OF THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

A side-event on “Strategies for Reforms in Juvenile Justice”, supported by the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Austria to the United Nations in Geneva, was organized on the same day by the Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice.

Defence for Children International (DCI), on behalf of the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, delivered an oral statement on the occasion of the 26thregular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, under Item 3, Interactive Dialogue with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Right to Health (11 June 2014), underlining the increased risks of abuse children deprived of liberty are exposed to.

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MAY 2014: 

THE UN COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD SUPPORTS THE GLOBAL STUDY

An official letter of recommendation by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and a letter by NGOs formally requesting the Study to be carried out and the appointment of an Independent Expert, were both sent to the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), Ban Ki-Moon.

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MARCH 2014: 

LAUNCH OF THE CAMPAIGN

After six months of drafting and defining a concept note for the campaign, Defence for Children International (DCI) and other partner NGOs (now formalized as the “NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty”), organized an official launch of the campaign calling for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, on the Annual Day on the Rights of the Child of the United Nations Human Rights Council (13 March 2014).

The event included the participation of Ms. Marta Santos País (United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence against Children), Justice Renate Winter (Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child) and supporting Permanent Missions of Uruguay, Qatar, Austria and Ethiopia to the United Nations in Geneva.

The NGO Panel also prepared a Q&A for member States and an Advocacy Brochureto support its lobbying activities.

Also in March 2014, the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) formally supported the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty through an official statement.

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