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JUNE/ JULY 2018: 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.

Downloads:

JULY 2018: Thematic Consultation on Institutions in Pretoria, South Africa

A thematic consultation on children 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.

World Congress on Justice - Paris

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. 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.

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MAY 2018: African Regional Consultation on Global Study 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.

Please find the concept note here.

©Juvenile Justice Advocates International

MAY 2018: ASEAN Regional Consultation on Global Study 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 UNICEF country offices and national human rights institutions.

 

Please find the concept note here.

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APRIL 2018: Experts and Advisory Board Meeting for Adoption of Research Methodology

The Experts and the Advisory Board of the UN 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, an UN focal point, an NGO focal point, and Advisory Board Members.

 

Please find below the research groups and the NGO focal points:

  • Children deprived of liberty in the administration of justice – NGO focal point: DCI (Helen Griffiths), CRIN (Leo Ratledge)
  • Children living in places of detention with their parents – NGO focal point: Children of Prisoners Europe (COPE) (Rachel Brett), Quakers (Laurel Townhead)
  • Children deprived of liberty for migration related reasons – HRW (Michael Garcia Bochenek)
  • Children deprived of liberty in institutions – NGO focal point: Lumos (Anna Darling), SOS Kindersdorf International
  • Children deprived of liberty related to armed conflict and national security- NGO focal point: HRW (Jo Becker)

 

The questionnaire can be found here in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Malay, and Vietnamese.

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Global Study Census Snapshot: June 26th!

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 has called for countries around the world to count the number of all children deprived of liberty in different contexts. This aims to provide a snapshot of the number of children detained at that specific point in time.  The questionnaire can be found here in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Malay, and Vietnamese.  Please contact us (globalstudy@defenceforchildren.org) in case of any questions.

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Learn How NGOs Can Engage with the UN Global Study at National Level

The NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty has developed a guidance document to inform the NGO community about the GSCDL, its origin, its implementation, the methodology of work and the role of the NGOs, and more broadly civil society and the academic world, about the role they can play in the Study, including the ways they can support and contribute to it.

You will find on this document:

  1. An Overview of the Study and overall Implementation of the Study
  2. The role and action of NGOs for the follow up of the Global Study
  3. Annex – Global Presentation of The Study, its Origins and Implementation

See the full document here.

You can contact us via: globalstudy@defenceforchildren.org

World Congress on Justice - Paris

2018 World Congress on Justice for Children / 28-30 May 2018 in Paris, France

Under the haut-patronage of UNESCO, the 2018 World Congress on Justice for Children will be held from 28-30 May 2018 in Paris, France. It will address three major issues:

➜ 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,
➜ How to improve protection mechanisms for vulnerable children, including early prevention.

The 2018 World Congress on Justice for Children aims to bring together professionals and stakeholders from all around the world to share their perspectives on:

➜ youth and family justice, and
➜ the prevention of offending and violent extremism

The 2018 World Congress is organised by a consortium of international organisations composed by the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (IAYFJM), Terre des hommes Foundation, and Penal Reform International (PRI) with Child Rights International Network (CRIN), Defence for Children International (DCI), Judicial Training Institute of Belgium (IGO-IFJ) and the Information for All Programme (IFAP) of UNESCO.

 

For more detailed information please  visit the official website.

Register here 

See the full programe  here and the concept note here

 

 

 

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Register Now: International Symposium: ‘Deprivation of Liberty of Children in The Justice System – Towards a Global Research Agenda’ – 13 April 2018 – Leiden Law School

International Symposium: ‘Deprivation of Liberty of Children in The Justice System – Towards a Global Research Agenda’ – 13 April 2018 – Leiden Law School

On 13 April 2018, the Leiden Law School organizes the international symposium ‘Deprivation of Liberty of Children in The Justice System – Towards a Global Research Agenda’.

Program

The symposium aims to bring together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars, practitioners, advocates and representatives of NGO’s and governments to exchange research and knowledge about deprivation of liberty of children in the justice system. In doing so, the symposium aims to contribute to the ‘United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty’. Several renowned international experts will speak about issues of child detention and alternatives. Moreover, a delegation from the United Nations Independent Expert, who leads the ‘Global Study’, and a representative of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child will be present. For more information about the program, check the Leiden University website.

Network lunch

The symposium offers participants the opportunity to bring their organization and projects to the attention of the other participants and speakers during the network lunch, for example by means of a poster presentation or the distribution of flyers. Herewith, the symposium aims to serve as an international platform for organizations, practitioners and scholars who work in the field of juvenile justice and children’s rights.

Registration?

  1. Register via the website of Leiden University. Participation fee: € 55 per participant (incl. course materials, coffee/tea, network lunch and closing drinks)
  2. If you want to represent your organization during the network lunch, please send an e-mail to mr. A.J. (Arjan) de Vries: a.j.de.vries@law.leidenuniv.nl.

If you have further questions about the symposium, please contact Dr. Y.N. (Yannick) van den Brink.