November 2019

Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty

For over a decade, QUNO has worked to draw attention to the rights of children of incarcerated parents and to strengthen standards and guidance to better protect their rights.

QUNO Geneva has warmly welcomed the publication of the full version of the UN’s Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty, following their significant contributions to its contents.

The Global Study – officially launched during the UN’s conference for the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – contains a chapter on ‘Children Living in Prisons with their Primary Caregiver’, children who are de facto deprived of their liberty.

This chapter provides an important step in work on this area, on which QUNO Geneva’s Human Rights and Refugees programme has worked for several years, including input to this chapter. With little previous focus on their situation and rights, the chapter offers some initial data collected from States and outlines some of the key concerns regarding these children’s development, as well as analysing the legal framework applicable to them.

Importantly, the Global Study provides a series of recommendations to states. QUNO Geneva particularly welcomes the recommendation that ‘a presumption against a custodial measure or sentence for primary caregivers should apply’. This presumption reflects the detrimental impacts upon children of both separation from their primary caregiver and of living inside a prison. 

QUNO is looking forward to the implementation of the recommendations put forward in the Global Study, which provide a valuable contribution to the development of the rights of children with incarcerated caregivers.

The full Global Study is now available online here.


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