November 20th marked Universal Children’s Day – as established by the United Nations. This date celebrates the anniversary of the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). It is also an opportunity to bring into the forefront the rights of the child and to raise awareness on the challenges that still have to be overcome.
This year’s theme was violence. It is one of DCI’s priorities to address the issue of violence against children within the juvenile justice system. DCI is mostly concerned by the excessive use of deprivation of liberty of children as a primary solution, rather than a measure of last resort. Moreover, children in detention are often victims of torture and cruel and degrading treatment, including sexual violence. Furthermore, children are often held with adults, in overcrowded cells and in extreme conditions – in clear violation of their basic human rights.