Collaborative working sessions drive efforts to enhance safeguarding of children in European prisons

Tue 25 January, 2024

In December 2023, PRI and partners Social Activities and Practices Institute (SAPI) and Terre des Hommes Romania organised working sessions with national child justice stakeholders in Bulgaria, Ireland and Romania, the three focus countries of the ongoing Data MOSAIC project. Sharing insights from EU-wide and country-level research on the current data collection practices and tools for monitoring violence against children (VAC) in prison, the working sessions engaged participants in discussions on how to address the identified gaps and needs in each country’s unique context. 

Working sessions

Participants at the working session in Bulgaria

The project partners brought together managers and front-line staff from child detention facilities, along with participants from relevant ministries, central penitentiary administration bodies, National Preventive Mechanisms, Ombudsman offices and civil society organisations. Their ideas and perspectives, combined with insight from children who were engaged by the project team, raised important questions and identified practical opportunities for improvement.

Discussion at the working session in Romania

Several key takeaways from the working sessions will inform the development of a data tool and guideline for better data collection on VAC in detention in the project’s next phase. These include the need for monitoring beyond physical forms of violence, ensuring data is also captured on psychological violence; the importance of centralising collected data, and; the need to ensure children’s perspectives are reflected in the gathered information, for example by introducing anonymous mechanisms for children to report incidents or share their perspectives. The data collection tool and guideline will be developed over the upcoming months, with piloting in selected child detention facilities in the three countries following later in the year.

Working sessions