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The IJJO participates in a UNICEF seminar on supervising the conditions of children in conflict with the law

Friday 10th of June 2016 | International, Argentina
IJJO Day by Day

UNICEF held a seminar in Buenos Aires on May 19th and 20th entitled ‘Systems of Supervising and Monitoring the Detention Conditions of Children in Conflict with the Law’. The event, which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children, included the participation of Juan Francisco Rubio García, a member of the European Council for Juvenile Justice, who delivered a presentation on European experiences in monitoring juvenile justice systems and supervising the conditions of young people in juvenile detention centres.


Juan Francisco Rubio holds a degree in Social Work from the University of Jaén and the International University of La Rioja, as well as having specialised training in conflict resolution, direction of social service centres, juvenile criminal law and quality management systems. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Platform for Childhood in Spain, an organisation which unites more than 50 social groups to protect, promote and defend children’s rights. Furthermore, he forms part of the team of Fundación Diagrama in Spain, building his career in the area of juvenile justice and the protection of minors, especially in the implementation of systems to manage quality, evaluation and the continued improvement of detention centres focused on rehabilitation where young people carry out their sentence. Moreover, he is a member of the Diagrama International, working on the analysis and generation of shared knowledge from best practices based on evidence.

Many other distinguished professionals and experts in the field participated in the seminar, such as Marta Santos Pais, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Méndez, and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Children, Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, among others.

This conference originated in the context of the elaboration of the Global Study on Children in Detention, delegated to UNICEF by the UN Secretary General. The purpose of the seminar was to identify standards, good practices and the challenges posed in creating independent systems of supervision for detention centres in Latin America, as well as seeking to ensure the rights of young persons in conflict with the law. The seminar included presentations and debates which allowed for experiences in monitoring and supervision in this region to be exchanged and compared with those in the European context.

At the meeting’s close, different recommendations were established such as using deprivation of liberty as a last resort and for it to be as short as possible; the need to look towards alternatives to detention; the expansion of the legal mandate for the supervision of the rights of children in detention centres; the need to include autonomous and independent mechanisms of supervision and monitoring for detention centres, in a functional, organic and financial sense; the incorporation of children’s opinions during the entire process, especially in accessing effective ways to make complaints and allegations, avoiding impunity in the face of violent acts or those which infringe upon fundamental rights; and the integration into the wider framework of systems of child protection.


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