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Detention of Children in Ireland: International Standards and Best Practice

25th November 2009

IPRT RP on Detention of Children

The Irish Penal Reform Trust is delighted to announce the publication of a new report: Detention of Children in Ireland: International Standards and Best Practice.

The report, which will be launched Monday 30th November in Dublin, considers the implementation of international human rights standards to children detention in Ireland, and details best practice examples from Ireland and other European jurisdictions.

The report outlines 63 recommendations across a number of areas, including: admissions procedures; physical environment; health care; protecting children from harm; discipline; inspection and complaints systems; suitable and qualified personnel; rehabilitation and social integration into the community.

On the publication of this report, the Irish Penal Reform Trust is making three main calls on the government to:

  1. Bring an immediate end to the detention of children in St Patrick’s Institution
  2. Extend the remit of the Ombudsman for Children to receive individual complaints from children held in St. Patrick’s Institution
  3. Improve child protection procedures and practices in all places where children are detained

The report includes a Foreword by Emily Logan, Ombudsman for Children, in which she echoes IPRT concerns about the continued detention of boys in St. Patrick’s Institution, which is not in compliance with international human rights standards.

She also writes: “Of additional concern is the fact that I cannot investigate complaints from children held in St. Patrick’s Institution due to an exclusion in the Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002. I therefore particularly welcome the recommendation contained in the report that supports both my own and the Committee on the Rights of the Child recommendation to extend the remit of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office to include the power to receive complaints from children so held.”

Detention of Children in Ireland: International Standards and Best Practice will be launched on Monday 30th November 2009 at 3.30pm in Pearse Street Library, Dublin 2. Details on speakers will follow.

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Fíona Ní Chinnéide,
Campaigns & Communications Officer
Irish Penal Reform Trust

T: + 353 1 874 1400 E: communications@iprt.ie

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Detention of Children in Ireland: International Standards and Best Practice
Irish Penal Reform Trust (November 2009)
ISBN: 978-0-9535531-8-1

Detention of Children in Ireland: International Standards and Best Practice considers the implementation of international human rights standards to children detention in Ireland, and how the aims enshrined in these standards can be best achieved in the Irish context. The report looks at best practice in Ireland, and includes detailed best practice examples from other European jurisdictions.

The report also seeks to influence the debate on the design and best practice policies in the new National Children Detention Facility to be built at the Oberstown Campus in Lusk, whilst renewing a call for an immediate end to the detention of boys at St. Patrick’s Institution.

The report was funded by the Irish Youth Foundation.

For more information on the report, please see: http://www.iprt.ie/contents/1458  

Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002

Due to an exclusion in the Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002, the Ombudsman for Children cannot receive individual complaints from children detained in St. Patrick’s Institution. In the absence of a Prisoner Ombudsman in Ireland, boys detained in St. Patrick’s Institution have no independent body to whom they may take complaints.

Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT)

IPRT is Ireland's leading non-governmental organisation campaigning for the rights of everyone in prison and the progressive reform of Irish penal policy, with prison as a last resort

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