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Wednesday 30th of September 2020

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Report of the Independent Expert leading the United Nations global study on children deprived of liberty

Manfred Nowak
United Nations General Assembly


In its resolution 69/157 of 18 December 2014, the General Assembly invited the Secretary-General to commission an in-depth study on children deprived of liberty. In October 2016, Manfred Nowak (Austria) was appointed as Independent Expert leading the study, which is the first scientific attempt, on the basis of global data, to comprehend the magnitude of the situation of children deprived of liberty, its possible justifications and root causes, as well as conditions of detention and their harmful impact on the health and development of children. The study also identifies best practices in non-custodial solutions applied by States in relation to the following six situations: (a) detention of children in the administration of justice; (b) children living in prisons with their primary caregivers; (c) migration-related detention;(d) deprivation of liberty in institutions; (e) detention in the context of armed conflict; and (f) on national security grounds. The study proposes recommendations to support States and the United Nations in dealing with this phenomenon.

The present report summarizes the detailed findings of the global study on children deprived of liberty, which will be available in printed, electronic and child -friendly versions. It was prepared through a participatory process, which included regional, subregional, national and thematic consultations, as well as expert meetings.

Many Governments, United Nations agencies and other stakeholders provided comprehensive responses to a questionnaire transmitted to them in February 2018.The Independent Expert is grateful for the support provided by Governments, United Nations agencies and bodies, other international and regional organizations, civil society organizations, the academic community and, in particular, children.



Year Language

2019 English

Category Type

Grey Literature Report


Child, Protection, Research, Rights


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