2014: Children’s vulnerabilities in detention

What are the risks for abuse and ill-treatment when children are deprived of their liberty? How can National Preventive Mechanisms better address these risks?

Children deprived of their liberty are particularly vulnerable, because of their age and stage of maturity and because of the long term damaging effects of detention on their well-being and development.

The first Jean-Jacques Gautier NPM Symposium, organised by the APT in Geneva on 26-27 June 2014, focused on addressing children’s vulnerabilities in detention.  Representatives from National Preventive Mechanisms in 14 countries met over two days to examine the risks to which children are exposed when they are deprived of their liberty and to discuss strategies to prevent abuses.

Video: Odalis Najera, Peter Green and Adidi Arnould discuss the specific vulnerabilities of children deprived of their liberty and the role of NPMs to protect children’s rights in detention.

The first day of the Symposium also included experts from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, NGO’s working to promote and protect the rights of the child, national authorities, and international and regional torture prevention bodies.

Day 1: Thursday 26 June 2014

Day 1 of the Symposium brought together representatives of NPMs and other relevant actors to examine the specific vulnerabilities and risk factors which contribute to the abuse and ill-treatment of children deprived of their liberty, and to identify strategies for NPMs to effectively address these issues. The meeting was also an opportunity for NPMs and other actors to meet and get familiar with each other’s work, and to establish or strengthen cooperation.


Day 2: Friday 27 June 2014

The second day was reserved for NPM representatives only, to openly discuss the challenges they face in their day-to-day preventive work in relation to the issues addressed on the first day. They analysed the feasibility and practical implementation of the identified strategies and exchanged good practices and working methods.


Outcome Report


Briefing note: Addressing children's vulnerabilites in detention

1-page Symposium summary document