Reflections on a New Tool for Protecting the Rights of the Child
Protecting Children against Torture in Detention: A Global Solution for a Global Problem, American University, Washington college of Law, 2017
23 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017
Date Written: February 28, 2017
The March 2015 thematic report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez, regarding the torture and ill-treatment of children deprived of their liberty, presented to the Human Rights Council in its twenty-eighth session, is a significant contribution to the children’s rights movement. It provides a new tool for advocacy to promote the recognition and protection of the rights of children in the context of deprivation of liberty: showing how the right to be free from torture and ill-treatment can be used to protect children from mistreatment in custody and otherwise limit the deprivation of liberty of children. This chapter will first highlight a few of the report’s general contributions to the corpus of human rights law protecting the rights of the child. Then, this chapter will discuss some of the ways in which the report promotes the progressive development of this law in specific areas. In particular, it will discuss the deprivation of liberty in the contexts of the migration of children and of children in conflict with the law. Finally, this chapter will discuss the detention landscape in the United States and ways in which States and civil society can make use of the report to promote changes in law and practice and reduce the deprivation of liberty of children and promote improvements in conditions of confinement for those in detention.
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