Challenges of protecting children from torture

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The Secretary General of the OMCT, Gerald Staberock, addressed the World Congress on Juvenile Justice setting out the challenges that States and civil society face when trying to protect children from torture and ill-treatment.

The OMCT recalled the special vulnerability of children to violence and torture and ill-treatment. Despite significant progress on international anti-torture and child rights standards over the last two decades there remains a current proposition in society and law enforcement that some form of violence against children is more acceptable than against adults.

In his presentation he emphasised the important role that the anti-torture framework, providing monitoring mechanisms, provides to the protection of children; the urgent need for the implementation of safeguards during deprivation of liberty that are child adequate, and the protection from violence in prisons.

He also called for support to civil society working on torture and set out the need to translate remedies into practice, making them real and child accessible.

The Congress, hosted by Terre des Hommes and the Swiss government, took place in Geneva on 25-30 January and counted with the presence of governmental officials, civil society representatives and international organisations.

The OMCT was equally represented by its Child Rights Coordinator, overseeing a global programme encouraging civil society monitoring of places of detention, legal and policy reforms to improve the situation of children in conflict of the law, and the building of capacity, including in Benin, Uruguay, Brazil and the Philipinnes.

The Congress was also attended by a number of its member organisations, in particular members of the SOS-Torture Network from Benin and Uruguay, with long-standing expertise in protecting children from violence.

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30 January 2015

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