Irish Penal Reform Trust

Detention of Children: International Standards and Best Practice

20th December 2016

“Children differ from adults in their physical and psychological development, and their emotional and educational needs. Such differences constitute the basis for the lesser culpability of children in conflict with the law. These and other differences are the reasons for a separate juvenile justice system and require a different treatment for children. The protection of the best interest of the child means, for instance, that the traditional objectives of criminal justice, such as repression/retribution, must give way to rehabilitation and restorative justice objectives in dealing with child offenders.” 

Committee on the Rights of the Child (2007) General Comment No.10 (2007) Children’s rights in juvenile justice. CRC/C/GC/10, 25 April 2007, at para.10.

IPRT RP on Detention of ChildrenIn Nov 2009, IPRT published a research report, Detention of Children: International Standards and Best Practice. It remains relevant today. At the centre of the report is the core principle that an ethos of care, education and rehabilitation should inform children detention school settings.

The report considers the application and 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 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.

The report sought to influence the debate on the design and best practice policies in the new National Children Detention Facility at the Oberstown Campus in Lusk, whilst renewing a call for an immediate end to the detention of boys in adult prison.

The report includes a Foreword by Emily Logan, then Ombudsman for Children.

Detention of Children: International Standards and Best Practice was supported by the Irish Youth Foundation.

To download the report, please click on the icon above.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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