Special Rapporteur on Torture held expert consultation on children in detention

Friday, November 21, 2014

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Méndez, recently hosted an expert consultation in Washington on issues related to torture and ill-treatment of children deprived of their liberty.

The objective of the meeting was to inform the upcoming thematic report of the Special Rapporteur on the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the context of children deprived of their liberty, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2015.

The APT believes that the Special Rapporteur plays a key role in the development of new international human rights standards in areas in need of further legal regulation or clarification. We therefore welcome the initiative to further clarify and develop standards related to children deprived of their liberty from the perspective of the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment in international law.

As a contribution to the consultation, the APT submitted a briefing note to the Special Rapporteur, drawing on our specific expertise. The note highlights some types and situations of risk for children when they are deprived of their liberty and the role of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) established under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture in addressing those issues, both during their preventive visits to places where children are deprived of liberty and beyond the visits. The note also includes concrete examples of the work of NPMs from all over the world.