While deprivation of liberty is one of the most harmful violations of children’s fundamental rights, across the globe, over 7 million children per year are deprived of liberty in the administration of justice, held in immigration detention, detained in relation to armed conflicts or national security contexts, or living with their primary caregivers in detention.
On the organisers: DCI together with Terre des Hommes are co-chairing the NGO Panel on Children Deprived of Liberty which is in the initiative of the publication and presentation at the UN General Assembly of the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty (2019) by the lead author and independent expert Prof. Manfred Nowak. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children (SRSG VAC), Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, is coordinating the UN Interagency Task Force on Children Deprived of Liberty.
The idea is to organise an international global Forum of two days three years after the publication of the Study. It will be an opportunity to take stock of the work achieved on justice for children and deprivation of liberty, mobilising key stakeholders to trigger action in front of unprecedented challenges, ensuring that no child is left behind. The Forum will be opened by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid and Prof. Manfred Nowak, the independent expert and lead author of the Global Study who will be sharing his experience from the Study and its dissemination.
The UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty identified for each form of deprivation of liberty good practices of non-custodial measures as well as structural changes that facilitate the identification of such alternatives. For instance, in the case of administration of justice, developing comprehensive child protection systems, applying diversion at all stages as well as restorative justice principles are good practices that have given positive results. Moreover, integrating into the national law the recommendations of the UNCRC included in the General Comment 24 on children’s rights in the Justice systems (e.g. minimum age of criminal responsibility, time limits for police custody and pretrial detention, specialised child justice systems…) could prevent or significantly limit the number of children deprived of liberty.
The experts (national and international) – children and adults – addressing the Forum have a rich and confirmed experience within different child rights areas and possess recognised competence and vocation in this field. A balance between grassroots, national, regional and international levels will be ensured among the participants.
Click here to view the Global Forum website