Juveniles continue to be tortured within police stations and penitenciaries, UNICEF report shows
Chisinau, 05 April 2013 – Almost a third of children suffered cranio-cerebral and cervical trauma, while three quarters of the children surveyed say that they have been threatened with prolonged detention, with more severe beatings and even murder, a UNICEF report on "Torture and ill-treatment of children in the context of juvenile justice in Moldova", reveals.
The report oficially launched on 5th of April 2013 in Chisinau analyzes the phenomenon of torture and abuse based on interviews with 62 minors in predetention and detained, and dozens of specialists from the justice system - police officers, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, social workers, doctors and psychologists.
According to the research, very few children victims file complaints in cases of torture and abuse, especially because of distrust of law enforcement and fear of reprisals, namely torture or ill-treatment.
Doctors and social workers have a very low contribution to the referral of complaints on torture to the competent bodies. In the first 6 months of 2012, only 1 referral from the doctor and none of the social workers was sent to the Prosecutor’s Office.
The greatest amount of complaints is submitted through lawyers or relatives (mother, grandmother), who have noticed visible signs of ill-treatment on their bodies. Children often stated that they were not supported by prosecutors, or were advised to drop the case or were even intimidated. Many had not been given any legal assistance or psychological assistance.
Between 2010 and first 6 months of 2012, General Prosecutor’s office received 93 complaints on ill treatment and torture against minors, out of which only for 16 cases an investigation was initiated, and only 5 cases were brought to courts.
"Children in conflict with the law are at increased risk of abuse and ill-treatment. UNICEF calls upon all players involved in the justice system to undertake joint efforts in order to guarantee safe environments to children in contact with the law. We look forward to continuing our very fruitful cooperation with the Government and working effectively with civil society and the international community to ensure children are protected and their rights are respected”, said Alexandra Yuster, UNICEF Representative in Moldova.
The study "Torture and ill-treatment of children in the context of juvenile justice in Moldova" was conducted in 2012 by the Centre for Human Rights and Memoria Center, within a UNICEF project, with financial support from the European Union.
The full report is available on UNICEF Moldova website: http://www.unicef.org/moldova/ro/12007_23950.html
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