Children deprived of their liberty: protection from torture and ill treatment
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Children deprived of their liberty by the state are, as a result of state officials’ action or inaction, at the risk of death, torture, and ill treatment. Three types of places of detention are discussed, namely prisons, police cells, and child and youth care centres. The Chapter accepts the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) as the legal anchor point and proceeds to give a more detailed description of rights violations against children in detention, focussing on deaths in custody; torture and assaults; harsh conditions of detention; solitary confinement and detention incommunicado; illegal and inappropriate means of maintaining discipline; separation of categories of detainees; trafficking. The Chapter concludes with a number of recommendations focussing on improving the collection of data pertaining to children in custody; the criminalisation of torture; the need for comprehensive and continuous staff training; the regular review of policies, procedures and practices; promoting transparency and establishing independent oversight; establishing effective complaints mechanisms; the need for prompt and impartial investigations; and obtaining effective redress.