Ombudsmen and NGOs from region meet to monitor torture and ill-treatment of children in jail
KYIV, Ukraine, 18 October 2011 – Human Rights NGOs and Ombudsman offices from eight countries are meeting to exchange experiences on how to protect children in detention centres. UNICEF and the European Union are organizing the three-day regional meeting with 35 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine as part of a broader project they co-fund. With a budget of € 1,5 million, the EU and UNICEF are cooperating to reform juvenile justice systems in line with international and European standards. In addition, the joint project is working on legislative reform, capacity building and is piloting alternatives to the imprisonment of children.
The meeting is designing a common plan and tools to monitor torture and ill-treatment of children. Participants will share their experiences and review different methods in monitoring child rights in the context of juvenile justice. After the meeting, they will carry out research in their countries and re-convene to share results at the beginning of 2012.
“The prohibition of torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment is one of the most fundamental rules of international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. UNICEF Ukraine recognizes recent positive developments within the juvenile justice system reforms in Ukraine. At the same time it concerned with a practice of solitary confinement of children in disciplinary cells that is in breach with international standards and considered ill-treatment. UNICEF also recommends abolishing the practice of joint confinement of children with adults. This issue was also highlighted during the visit of Mr. Robert Badinter, former Minister of Justice of France, to Ukraine in 2010, “said Yukie Mokuo, representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund in Ukraine (UNICEF).
"The protection of Human Rights is a core and founding value of the European Union. Torture and ill treatment of children are unacceptable acts to be condemned - everywhere. Together with UNICEF, and through the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, the EU is doing its best to help prevent such inhumane treatment, and to assist rehabilitating those who have suffered the consequences," said Maria Yurikova, Deputy Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine. She underlined that this particular event symbolizes the common struggle of all progressive nations to defend children rights – "the rights of our future generation". Beyond this event, she described how the EU is working with UNICEF to combat child trafficking, underage prostitution and violence and torture against children in all parts of the world.
For further information please contact:
Yulia Yurova, Communication Officer, UNICEF Ukraine, Tel: + 38.044.254.2450, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bianca Baumler, Communication Manager, EU Delegation to Ukraine, Tel: + 38.044.390 8010, ext. 344, Email: email@example.com
About the Ombudsman for Children: Ombuds, also referred to in different settings as Child Advocates, Child Commissioners, are independent public institutions at national and local level. Their role is to independently monitor, protect and promote the actions of Governments, Parliaments, civil society, media and the private sector for and with children. Ombuds institutions are in regular contact with children, bring their voices to decision makers, and are constantly attentive to children’s best interests. An increasing number of countries across the world’s regions look to these institutions for support in fulfilling their commitments to children.
About UNICEF in Ukraine: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 150 countries. UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997. More information about UNICEF in Ukraine: www.unicef.org.ua
About the EU in Ukraine: The EU supports Ukraine’s ambitious reform agenda. More than 250 projects are running across a wide-range of sectors, regions and cities in Ukraine. In addition to protecting children, the EU supports democratic development and good governance, regulatory reform and administrative capacity building, infrastructure development and nuclear safety in Ukraine.