International Standards on Juvenile Justice

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, contains several articles specifically addressing juvenile justice. These articles outline principles and standards for the treatment of children within the legal system. Here are some key provisions:

  1. Article 37: This article emphasizes that States Parties shall ensure that:

    a. No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

    b. No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention, or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.

    c. Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child’s best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances.

    d. Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent, and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.

  2. Article 40: This article details specific rights of children alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law, including the right to legal assistance and representation, the presumption of innocence, the right to privacy, and the right to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s sense of dignity and worth.

 

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