WITH PRO BONO SUPPORT FROM

Accelerate the release of children from detention

PROTECT CHILDREN FROM COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Terre des hommes has called on States to release all children from immigration detention and accelerate the release of children deprived of liberty in criminal justice or protection facilities. Urgent attention should be given to the implementation of non-custodial measures to ensure children’s safe reintegration into families and communities. See the statement produced by Terre des hommes:

https://www.tdh.ch/en/statements/release-children-detention-covid-19

POLICY AND PRACTICE

A joint product of Terre des Hommes and pro bono volunteers from the law firm of Baker McKenzie, this Policy and Practice Brief summarizes the global legal precedents to be considered when evaluating the legality of children in detention under circumstances such as the COVID-19 crisis. In this brief, we summarize international legal instruments and regional mechanisms that are relevant to evaluating the circumstances of children in these settings and present a set of policy recommendations, illustrated by practical examples of rapid response actions to realize children fundamental human rights. To assist the professionals handling the cases of children in conflict with the law during the COVID-19 crisis, we partnered with various organisations to compile three sets of clear, short and practical operational guidelines for professionals.

POLICY AND PRACTICE BRIEF

ACCELERATE RELEASE OF CHILDREN FROM DETENTION; PROTECT CHILDREN FROM COVID-19

This Policy and Practice Brief captures the initial phases of how justice systems have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a specific focus on children in conflict with the law. It synthesises research, media reports, international guidance, and operational perspectives in order to provide a snapshot of policies adopted and undertaken to respond to the needs of children deprived of liberty in the initial months of the pandemic. It presents a set of policy recommendations, illustrated by practical examples of rapid response actions that have been taken following the lockdown and confinement measures enacted in a number of countries around the world.

OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

To assist the professionals handling the cases of children in conflict with the law during the COVID-19 crisis, a group of organizations and experts have partnered to compile three sets of clear, short and practical operational guidelines. Those operational guidelines for professionals are divided into three chapters addressing the following three broad categories of professionals who interact with children in conflict with the law: Social Workforce, Security Forces and Legal Professionals.

REGIONAL ADVOCACY

MENA

We have worked with national and local authorities in implementing an emergency release process for children incarcerated in several detention centres and at risk of potential exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AMERICAS

We have monitored the actions of social workers and prison staff in different detention centres and provided them technical support.


EUROPE

We have in several countries advocated and supported the early release of children deprived of liberty.