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Global Study Launch 13 March 2014 001

Launch of the Call for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty

Global Study Launch 13 March 2014 001
Photo by Sarah Bertin

The launch of the Call for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty took place on March 13th, 2014, as the Annual Day on the Rights of the Child came to an end. After a long and engaging work day at the United Nations focused on access to justice for children, including presentations by Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais and expert member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Justice Renate Winter, Defence for Children International and other partner organisations organised a formal event at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, which was sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Austria, Ethiopia, Qatar and Uruguay. During this official event, the different state representatives spoke on the importance and necessity to launch a Call for a Global Study that focuses on data acquisition and sharing good practices. The SRSG stated: “We are concerned that children are being detained illegally, arbitrarily and unnecessarily, often at great costs for member states.”

Many countries have realised this detrimental concern, backing the Global Study as a means to achieving positive change. Speakers at the event included the President of DCI, Mr Benoit Van Keirsbilck, as well as H.E. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, Permanent Representative of Uruguay; H.E. Faisal Abdulla Al-Henzab, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Qatar; H.E. Minelik Alemu Getahun, Permanent Representiative of Ethiopia; Justice Renate Winter, United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child; Mr Gerold Vollmer, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Austria. More than eighty people took part in the event, highlighting the importance of bringing children deprived of liberty to the forefront of international discussion. The Call for a Global Study will get the ball rolling, but the next few months will be pivotal in determining the future of this project; as the State of Qatar noted, we, as individuals and citizens, need to “call upon all states and concerned partners to support this initiative.”

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