Diversion not Detention
A study on diversion and other alternative measures for children in conflict with the law in East Asia and the Pacific
Throughout the region, legislative frameworks are being strengthened in order to protect the rights of boys and girls in conflict with the law. However, many provisions of these laws remain unimplemented, while diversion and alternatives to pre- and post-trial detention are not used to their fullest potential. In some countries in the region, particularly in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Island countries, cases of children in conflict with the law are settled in an informal/traditional manner. Not much is known about these practices, including whether they comply with international standards and the best interests of the children are safeguarded. In the East Asia and Pacific region, many alternative measures for children in conflict with the law are at the pilot stage and/or only implemented in a few locations at the local level, often using models from outside the region and more developed countries.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) has emphasized the need to put mechanisms in place for diversion and/or alternatives to pre- and post-trial detention for children in conflict with the law in almost all of its recent reports related to the East Asian and Pacific Island countries.