years since the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the
Child, the progress made in terms of Juvenile Justice around the world
has been very uneven.
On a global
scale, it is estimated that over one million children are deprived of
their liberty. Worldwide, children in conflict with the
law are being
held under arrest, in detention or imprisonment, frequently in
conditions that constitute degrading and inhumane treatment.
Some of the key problems include violence, sexual abuse,
economic and sexual exploitation, humiliation, and spread of sexually
transmitted infections, including HIV. In many cases, the detention
facilities are not segregated according to gender, age, or crime
great majority of countries, most children deprived of their liberty
have not actually been convicted of an offence: they have simply been
apprehended or are on pre-trial remand. It is during pre-trial detention
that many of the worst human rights abuses occur.
countries, contrary to the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights
of the Child, capital punishment and life imprisonment without
possibility of release can still be imposed for offences committed by
persons below 18 years of age.
growing concern, the global movement Defence for Children International
has carried out studies reporting on the large number of children and
teenagers in the world deprived of their liberty, the conditions of
detention and imprisonment that reflect violations of human rights,
repressive measures of a large number of Governments as a response to
the phenomenon of juvenile delinquency, and the weak or inexistence of
juvenile justice systems being implemented in the countries.