A staggering seven million children are deprived of liberty every year, detained in settings such as prisons, pre-trial detention centres, police custody and migration detention centres. Our ‘Children in Contact with the Law’ programme aims to make sure that children who should not be detained are given their freedom back, and those who are detained have the best chance of a more positive future for themselves and their families.
This means taking action on a number of fronts:
- Supporting families and caregivers with social and educational services that could potentially prevent initial conflicts with the law
- Making sure the justice system is child-friendly and non-discriminatory
- Prioritising restorative justice, diversion, rehabilitation and reintegration
We recently published the first of our Improving Juvenile Justice reports that look into young people’s experiences when they’re in conflict with the law. Developed by our local teams in Brazil, Paraguay and the US, they provide a useful overview of the respective legal systems of each country, including how they work and what needs to be done to improve them. The research findings will drive our upcoming advocacy campaigns to make sure that the people with the power to make effective system change understand what needs to be done. By speaking out on behalf of these forgotten and stigmatised children and their families, we hope to make change that contributes to a better future – both for the children themselves and for society as a whole.
Download reports from our Improving Juvenile Justice series from the Resource Library.