The 24th session of the Human Rights Council was held in Palais des Nations from 9 to 27 September. Several issues of interest were addressed. With regard to juvenile justice, the resolution on the “Human Rights in the administration of justice, including juvenile justice” (A/HRC/24/L.28) notes the initiative to convene a World Congress on Juvenile Justice in Geneva from 26 to 30 January 2015, and decides to convene a panel discussion on the protection of the human rights of persons deprived of their liberty, at the 27th session of the Human Rights Council (September 2014). In addition, a side-event on “The Restorative Approach: a way to implement the aims of the juvenile justice system” was held, wherein DCI – IS Executive Director, Ms. Ileana Bello participated. The lack of a child-friendly juvenile justice system, the trend of lowering the age of criminal responsibility, poor detention conditions and constant recourse to deprivation of liberty were particularly highlighted.
DCI organised a private meeting with the Special Representative to the Secretary General on children and armed conflict to discuss the plans of her mandate.
The Special Rapporteur (SR) on Contemporary Forms of Slavery presented a thematic report and the first-ever resolution on child, early and forced marriage was unanimously adopted, recognising child marriage as a human rights violation.
Many UPR reports were adopted; the IS assisted in lobbying for issues to be raised concerning the presence of the OHCHR office in Colombia and followed-up on the recommendations put forward during the UPR-pre session (March 2013) with the Cameroon Child Rights Coalition (COCADE).
A panel on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed took place, saying that the child had the right to have its best interest taken into account when the decision was taken.
The Secretary-General presented a report (A/HRC/24/30) on the Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, making specific reference to Palestinian children being held in Israeli detention centres, and the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic called on the government to release children from detention or to transfer them to a juvenile justice system consistent with both fair trial and children’s rights.
Full Round-Up available on DCI’s website: https://defenceforchildren.org/images/stories/HRC24RoundUp_en.pdf