Policy Research on Children Deprived of Liberty in the Administration of Justice in South Asia
The recently published Policy Research on Children Deprived of Liberty in the Administration of Justice in South Asia, a comprehensive research on this phenomenon in that region, was conducted to assess the amplitude of the occurrence of children deprived of liberty and the administration of justice.
In South Asia, the arrest and detention of children living and working on the streets by police officers reported on the grounds of being a public nuisance or exposed to moral danger are reported time and again. Instead of prevention, States often rely on repressive and punitive policies that lead to excessive criminalisation of children. Despite the principle of deprivation of liberty to be used only as a last-resort measure and for the shortest appropriate time, it remains a common and pervasive form of punishment for juvenile offenders. The juvenile offenders are often detained for several years and, in some cases, for indeterminate periods. Conditions of detention are generally sub-standard, overcrowded, and deny children their rights, such as the right to appropriate health, education, and access to parents/guardians.
Realising the need for specific research focusing on children deprived of liberty in South Asia, the Kathmandu School of Law (KSL), together with researchers from eight South Asian countries, conducted policy research focusing on the detention of children in police custody, pre-trial detention, and imprisonment in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Rai, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This comprehensive research is a follow-up to the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty: it is a much-needed extension of the Global Study with a contextual focus on a region that is home to millions of children whose best interest should be the primary focus.*
The book was launched on 3rd March 2023 by Veronica Gomez, GC President and Manfred Nowak, GC Secretary General within the presentation of the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, organised by Manu Krishan, Global Study Coordinator at the Global Campus and held at the Auditorio Belgrano of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship.