‘Since children are in their formative years, when deprivation of liberty may have highly detrimental effects on their physical and mental health, their further development and their life, States are required to apply non -custodial solutions when dealing with children. Even with respect to children who have committed crimes, article 40 (4) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that a “variety of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counsel ling; probation; foster care; education and vocational training programmes and other alternatives to institutional care shall be available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and proportionate both to their circumstances and the offence”.
Promotion and protection of the rights of children
UN General Assembly
11 July 2019
The 20th November 2019 is World Children's Day and this month we are linking to our coverage in August of International Youth Day 2019. At that time, we highlighted Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty. Since then, The General Assembly report of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty was presented on 8 October, 2019 to the Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Issues. The report presents a summary of the findings of the Global Study that assess the situation of the magnitude of children deprived of liberty. The full Global Study, with more than 500 pages, will be launched in Geneva this month.
The impact on children of parental imprisonment
Another incredibly important issue when considering the impact of imprisonment on children is the indirect impact, that is, the impact of parental imprisonment on the children they have left behind. In the vlog below, Paula Harriott (head of involvement at the Prison Reform Trust [LINK http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/] and her daughter, Kezia Johnson, speak about the impact of her imprisonment. Kezia likens her mother’s imprisonment to bereavement; it was an enormous loss. Paula is clear that ‘It’s not over when the prison sentence is over. The damage … to your children… is lifelong’.
Please also see a blog from Claire Keen and colleagues, setting out some of the key issues.
Claire Keen is a researcher at the Justice Health Unit at the University of Melbourne