Why is this important?



To address and prevent violence against children (VAC) in all its forms—a core element of the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and UN Sustainable Development Goal 16—it is essential to comprehend its scope and nature. This holds particularly true in the context of child detention, where children face significant vulnerability due to their interaction with the criminal justice system and the impact of prison conditions, which intersect with personal or background challenges and characteristics.

The responsibility to safeguard the rights and safety of detained children lies with the states. However, there is an unfortunate lack of oversight in data and policies, with detained children often being neglected.

This underscores the urgent need for a systematic collection of comprehensive data on violence against children (VAC) in all facilities where they are detained.

By prioritising such data collection, it becomes possible to support monitoring, accountability, and appropriate responses.




Data MOSAIC aims to contribute to global efforts in addressing VAC by facilitating more comprehensive and comparable data collection on VAC in detention.

In addition to examining the current practices of data collection across justice systems in Europe and drawing recommendations based on identified gaps, needs, human rights standards, and best practices, the project will collaborate with children who have personal experiences of detention or justice system involvement, front-line staff, international child rights experts, and public authorities from three countries—Bulgaria, Ireland, and Romania.


What we aim for / Our goals

The general objective of the project is to prevent violence against children (VAC) bydm3 improving data collection systems at both national and regional level and addressing specific risks of violence faced by children deprived of their liberty.

To reach this goal, we intend to:

  • Comprehensively study and combat violence targeting specific marginalised groups in detention, including girls and children who identify as LGBTQI+.
  • Collaborate with child justice authorities in Bulgaria, Ireland, and Romania to enhance data systems and collection in their facilities. We strive to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of data management, ensuring accurate and comprehensive information.
  • Advocate for and realise adaptations to data collection systems across the EU, so they can enable systemic change toward better prevention and combatting of all forms of VAC in detention, informed by the perspectives of the participating children and justice professionals.

Key advocacy will be realized in partnership with the World Congress on Justice With Children to be convened in Madrid, Spain in the spring of 2025.

Description of the Project

Through developing and trialing improved strategies and tools for collecting data on VAC in detention, the project will build justice systems’ capacities to recognise, report and react to violence and better safeguard the children in their facilities. Staff at the pilot facilities will receive training on implementing the new tool comprehensively and without discrimination.

Moreover, they will have the opportunity to exchange experiences and learning with colleagues from other countries.

The project will build upon the research and pilot activities to disseminate the findings widely and advocate for change. It will encourage knowledge-sharing not only within the participating countries but also internationally, enabling systemic action and evidence-based policy and practice changes that prioritize child-friendly justice.

These efforts aim to enhance the protection of children and their rights within the context of the European Union.

The World Congress on Justice With Children will play a crucial role in extending the reach and impact of this project.




The current project builds on many past and ongoing activities of the project partners, including:

  • Calls for better data and improved protection of imprisoned children and their rights, as drafted with the GIJWC;
  • PRI’s ongoing work mapping existing information and advocating for improved data collection within criminal justice systems and facilities, including on deaths in prison;
  • TdH Romania’s PRECISION project, which seeks to improve children’s detention conditions and train staff on child friendly practices, and projects by TdH Romania and SAPI aiming to protect child victims, justice system involved children and amplify their voices (i-RESTORE, PROMISE, Focus on My Needs, CLEAR-Rights);
  • PRI’s involvement in monitoring activities in residential institutions for children in Central Asia in 2020, drawing recommendations based on identified shortcomings and commitments to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Secretary-General’s Study on VAC;
  • TdH’s Access to Justice (A2j) programme and its specific projects on detention in Central Europe;
  • PRI’s project on abolition of violence against children in detention (Central Asia).




If you have any questions about the project or would like to contribute to our efforts with information, please contact Tanja Dejanova tdejanova@penalreform.org