©Juvenile Justice Advocates International (3)

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.

Expert (2)

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.

©Juvenile Justice Advocates International (2)

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.


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





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’.


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.


  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.

ChildJusticeConference SaveTheDate Mar21 18 New URL-01


In November 2011, the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) in partnership with Defence for Children International (DCI) hosted the Global Conference on Child Justice in Africa in Kampala, Uganda.  The Conference was accompanied by a Study titled “Achieving Child Justice in Africa,” which highlighted the normative framework relevant to child justice in Africa, as well as the main challenges facing the implementation of these norms and standards. One of the fundamental gaps highlighted by the 2011 Study was the prevalent use of informal and traditional justice mechanisms, and the corresponding challenges in ensuring the protection of the best interests of children in these contexts. 

Seven years after the Child Justice Study and the Kampala Conference, positive developments in the advancement of children’s access to justice in various African countries have taken place, however immense challenges still remain on the path to promotion and protection of the best interests of children when involved in the justice system.

To address these challenges, ACPF and DCI, undertook a follow-up regional Study to document the current status of child justice in Africa as of 2017, providing an updated overview of the status of access to (formal/informal) justice for children on the continent, paying particular attention to developments relevant to protection in the context of informal and traditional justice systems as well as access to justice by especially vulnerable groups of children.

A further opportunity to contribute to and respond to the knowledge gaps in relation to child justice in Africa is the ongoing United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, formally requested by the United Nations General Assembly’s Child Rights Resolution in December 2014, to which DCI is a co-convener of the NGO Panel, aimed at collecting qualitative and quantitative data on children in detention, while also studying good practices that can shape more effective policies and practices and ACPF is one of the Panel’s 140-member organizations.

It is in the framework of this Regional Study that ACPF and DCI are hosting a continental conference to take place on 8-9 May 2018, with the Consultation for the Global Study taking place on 10 May 2018, in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), to deliberate on recent developments on children’s right to access to justice in Africa, including children’s deprivation of liberty, and to facilitate dialogue on the policy changes that are necessary to ensure the protection of the rights of children in the context of access to formal/informal justice.

For more information on the upcoming conference, click here


Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty: Expert level meeting with the Independent Expert and OHCHR

In the framework of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty (GSCDL), DCI (as co-convener of the NGO Panel on GSCDL) will be organizing an expert level meeting together with the Independent Expert and with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The event will take place on 08 March 2018 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (Switzerland), to present the Study questionnaire and provide a corresponding space for discussion.

The questionnaire has been formally distributed and is now available online. Aimed for collecting and providing quantitative statistical data about the number of children deprived of liberty, the questionnaire represents a tool for States and other key stakeholders to provide examples of best practices and innovative alternative approaches aimed at upholding children’s rights and ultimately reducing the number of children deprived of liberty.

To contact the NGO Panel, including media inquiries, please contact, Anna Tomasi.

Press Conference: Mr. Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Op. Ed by Manfred Novak on the Global Study on Children deprived of Liberty

By Manfred Nowak

At this very moment, millions of children are languishing in prisons, detention centers and institutions around the world. Every one of these children is at great risk of irreversible harm. Even short periods of detention can profoundly impair healthy developments in children, and the lasting impact can rob them of their rightful chance to live productive lives.

Yet we know so little about these children and about their lives, that it has been next to impossible to effectively address their plight, restore them to freedom and their families, and give them back their futures. There are no worldwide statistics available on these children or on what national efforts are underway to support and reach them.

Recognizing that reliable data is critical in creating sound policies and sustaining meaningful change, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2014 to conduct an in-depth Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, to be financed by Member States through voluntary contributions. In October 2016, I was appointed to lead the Global Study.

Regrettably, only two of the of 193 UN Member States (Austria and Switzerland) have contributed funds so far, and time is running out. The study will require a total of US$4.7 million dollars; we must garner US$1million of that amount in pledges before the study can begin.

Now I am calling on every UN Member State to come forward and pledge the funds necessary.

The Global Study has received the support of UN agencies and Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) alike. Worldwide, 139 NGOs are on board. But we need more than their support – we must secure funding from UN Member States to ensure the Study’s effective implementation.

To date there have only been two previous global studies on children: the 1996 Study on Children in Armed Conflict, led by Graça Machel and the 2006 Study on Violence against Children, led by Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro. Each has resulted in sweeping change and measurable improvement in the wellbeing of children across the globe. Such studies establish standardized definitions; clear, globally agreed recommendations for action; and measures to hold nations to account.

The Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty offers a unique opportunity to gain a global understanding of the scale and gravity of the situations of voiceless and helpless children hidden behind bleak institutional walls, and to help set a course of correction.

We cannot afford to let this opportunity to slip through our fingers.

Visit childrendeprivedofliberty.info and the OHCHR website for more information and to get involved. 

Manfred Nowak is the Independent Expert appointed in 2016 to lead the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. A human rights attorney, he served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture from 2004 to 2010.