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« I was waiting for recess. Diary of a child in detention » wins the first edition of the Justice for Children Award

Press release – 27 May 2016

« I was waiting for recess. Diary of a child in detention » wins the first edition of the Justice for Children Award

GENEVA – Charlotte Piveteau, first-year Master’s student in European and International Law at Nantes University (France), won the first edition of the “Justice for Children” Award competition, jointly organized by Defence for Children International (DCI) and the World Organization against Torture (OMCT).

The aim of the Justice for Children Award competition is to encourage academic research within European Universities on the obstacles and challenges that compromise the realization of children’s rights in justice systems, with a specific focus on violence against children.

Ms. Piveteau’s article – « I was waiting for recess. Diary of a child in detention » – was unanimously selected by the Jury[1] as it fully responded to the award’s selection criteria: academic quality, social and/or legal pertinence, and originality.

The Jury particularly welcomed the audacity and originality displayed by the author. By convincingly alternating between a legal analysis and abstracts of a fictitious personal diary, Ms Piveteau was able to bring a genuine “human” and personal touch to her analysis of violence against children in the justice system. Moreover, by giving a voice to the young detainee that she named Roméo, the author cleverly managed to put the child at the heart of the issue.

Ms. Piveteau will be granted a monetary prize, will have her paper published by DCI and OMCT and will participate in the upcoming 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council. The Prize will be officially awarded to Ms Piveteau on Tuesday 21 June at the Cinémas du Grülti (Geneva) during a public event[2]  that will include the screening of the award-winning film “La Tête Haute”[3], in the presence of the screenwriter – Ms Marcia Romano – followed by a debate on juvenile justice.

Last but not least, Jury members wished to express their particular appreciation for the article submitted by Ms. Emilie Spagnoli and Ms. Margherita Folzani, students in the interdisciplinary Master’s degree programme in children’s rights at Bicocca University in Milan (Italy). Their paper presented an analysis of the grave violations that Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention face. The Jury acknowledged the excellent academic quality and the solid argumentation of their article and decided to offer them the opportunity to have their paper published by DCI and OMCT.

Information :

Johan Vigne, DCI,, +41 (0)22 566 05 92

Carolina Bárbara, OMCT,, +41 (0)22 809 49 38


[1] Five international experts compose the Jury: Ms Renate Winter, international judge and Vice-President of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child ; Mr. Eric Sottas, legal expert and former OMCT Secretary-General, Mr. Benoit van Keirsbilck, President Defence for Children International and Editor in chief of « Journal du Droit des Jeunes »,  Prof. Philip Jaffé, psychologist and Director of the Interfaculty Centre for Children’s Rights of the University of Geneva, and Dr h.c. Jean Zermatten, former judge at the Valais juvenile court and former President of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

[2] In partnership with the Permanent Mission of France, the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights, and with the support of the City of Geneva and Loterie Romande.

[3] Opening film at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and winner of two awards at the “Césars” in 2016. This film tells the story of a youth involved with the French judicial system.

This post is also available in: FR