Online Global Classroom: “The United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty”

The Global Classroom is one of the flagship activities of the Global Campus designed to bring together students, professors and experts from the regions of the university programmes involved for a week-long conference, where a topic of current interest for all the regions involved is studied, analysed and discussed through the lenses of different regional perspectives. The uniqueness of this annual event lies in the possibility to deepen the understanding of global human rights challenges and foster inter-regional academic exchange and collaboration.


Due to the current situation after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the Global Classroom will take place online, which will however allow the participation of a broader audience and panelists from all around the globe.


The Global Classroom 2020 will revolve around the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, which was successfully presented in Geneva on 19 November 2019. The focus of this year’s Global Classroom is therefore to map global trends in children’s deprivation of liberty by looking at the use of detention of children in different settings in the various regions as well as identifying key challenges and the implementation of the recommendations of this Global Study.


Key settings and thematic areas of children’s deprivation of liberty that will be included are:


  • Criminal Justice Systems and Child Justice Systems – restorative justice, diversion and non-custodial solutions;

  • Children Living in Prisons with their Primary Caregivers (Parent, usually a mother) – children as rights holders;

  • Migration-related Detention – family separation, unaccompanied minors, refugee children;

  • Children Living in Institutions – problem in the definition, deinstitutionalisation processes, family-type care vs institutions;

  • Children in Armed Conflict – rehabilitation and reintegration back into society, family reunification;

  • Children Deprived of Liberty due to National Security Reasons – recruitment of children; arbitrary detention including for alleged offences by family members, intelligence gathering, ransom, prisoner swaps or for sexual exploitation.


This year’s Global Classroom is categorized in four phases. In phase 1, students prepare in a working group a research paper and a video or power point. The outcomes will be presented and discussed in phase 2 by different students who are randomly assigned to one of the thematic researches. This will allow enhancing inter-regional exchange and discussion among students, who will then prepare proposals for strategies.


Phase 3 encompasses the live global discussion of the Global Classroom, where the research outcomes from phase 1 and the summaries from phase 2 are presented before inviting the audience to a collective discussion. Included in the live session within phase 3, there will be a high-level expert panel sharing the experiences of working with and for children deprived of liberty (more details in due course).


In phase 4 each university programme might involve students in the organisation of regional presentations/press conferences on the findings and recommendations/strategic plan to local authorities, experts, stakeholders and general audiences, enhancing the dissemination and communication skills to wide audiences.


The Global Campus of Human Rights will share the several outcomes of this event, thus being the students´ publications, an outcome document summarizing key outcomes of the event, a promotional video of the event and the possibility for external audience to stream the full Global Classroom.


The Global Campus of Human Rights is a unique network of more than one hundred participating universities around the world, seeking to advance human rights and democracy through regional and global cooperation for education and research. This global network is promoted through seven Regional Programmes which are based in Venice for Europe, in Sarajevo/Bologna for South East Europe, in Yerevan for the Caucasus, in Pretoria for Africa, in Bangkok for Asia-Pacific, in Buenos Aires for Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Beirut for the Arab World.


Contact: Manu Krishan, Global Study Programme Manager (


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