"Nobody's Children:" Jamaican Children in Police Detention and Government Institutions
|Publisher||Human Rights Watch|
|Publication Date||1 July 1999|
|Citation / Document Symbol||1-56432-230-0|
|Cite as||Human Rights Watch, "Nobody's Children:" Jamaican Children in Police Detention and Government Institutions, 1 July 1999, 1-56432-230-0, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a7f90.html [accessed 31 January 2015]|
|Comments||In the island nation of Jamaica, many children-often as young as twelve or thirteen-are detained for long periods, sometimes six months or more,in filthy and overcrowded police lockups, in spite of international standards and Jamaican laws that forbid such treatment. The children are often hld in the same cells as adults accused of serious crimes, vulnerable to victimization by their cellmates and to ill-treatment by abusive police; and virtually always, they are held in poor conditions, deprived of proper sanitary facilities, adequate ventilation, adequate food,exercise, education, and basic medical care. Some of these children have not been detained on suspicion of criminal activity but have been locked up only because they are deemed "in need of care and protection." Human Rights Watch visited five working police lockups in Jamaica in late August to early September 1998 and interviewed more than thirty children about their experiences in the lockups. Human Rights Watch found that children detained in police lockups remain in their overcrowded cells twenty-four hours a day, let out, if at all, only for court dates and for once-daily trips to the filthy toilet and showers. There are no exercise facilities. The children receive no education at all and have reading materials only if books are brought in by family members. In many lockups, the dim lighting (at times near-darkness, even during the day) makes reading impossible anyway.|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
This report is based on research conducted in Jamaica from late August to early September 1998 by Rosa Ehrenreich, Clovene Hanchard, Glenn McGrory, and Robert Sloane. (Rosa Ehrenreich is the Acting Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School and the faculty instructor of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. Glenn McGrory and Robert Sloane are members of the Yale Law School Class of 2000, and Clovene Hanchard is a member of the Yale Medical School Class of 1999). The report was written by Rosa Ehrenreich, Clovene Hanchard, Glenn McGrory, and Robert Sloane, and edited by Lois Whitman, the director of the Children's Rights Division, and Michael McClintock, Deputy Program Director. Sarah DeCosse of the Human Rights Watch Americas Division and Joanne Mariner of the General Counsel's Office provided additional helpful comments on the manuscript.
We wish to thank the Government of Jamaica for providing us with helpful background information and access to government facilities where children are detained. In particular, we are grateful to Winston Bowen, the Director of Children's Services, to Claudette Hemmings, the Deputy Director of Children's Services, and to Ambassador Marjorie Taylor, Minister of State and Special Envoy on Children, all of whom were extremely generous with their time and assistance. We also wish to thank Colonel John Prescott, Director of the Jamaican Department of Correctional Services, June Jarrett, Director of Juvenile Institutions, and Francis Forbes, Commissioner of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. We are also grateful to the numerous members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who provided access to police lockups and who patiently answered our questions.
In Kingston, many people provided us with helpful background information. In particular, we wish to thank Lloyd Barnett, Dennis Daly, Nancy Anderson, Hilaire Sobers, Leo Aquiano, Carol Samuels, Afshan Khan, Judge Soares of the Kingston Family Court, Father Richard Albert, Reverend Norbert Stephens, Claudette Parris, Sipzroy Bryan, and Neville Webb.
Finally, we wish to thank the many Jamaican children who told us their stories. In this report, we have changed their names to protect their privacy.
"[T]hem beat the little man, the juvenile, them beat him and kick his head, them kick him into gate and step on him throat... [T]hem carry him gone from [here] last night... Inspector Robbie, him there, but him say nothing..."
- Clive, describing the beating of a young fellow detainee by police
"The cell was tiny, and it was full of feces, bugs, and garbage. I slept on a piece of cardboard on the floor. It was like sleeping in a toilet."
- Wilbur, age sixteen
In the island nation of Jamaica, many children-often as young as twelve or thirteen-are detained for long periods, sometimes six months or more, in filthy and overcrowded police lockups, in spite of international standards and Jamaican laws that forbid such treatment. The children are often held in the same cells as adults accused of serious crimes, vulnerable to victimization by their cellmates and to ill-treatment by abusive police; and virtually always, they are held in poor conditions, deprived of proper sanitary facilities, adequate ventilation, adequate food, exercise, education, and basic medical care. Some of these children have not been detained on suspicion of criminal activity but have been locked up only because they are deemed "in need of care and protection."
Human Rights Watch visited five working police lockups in Jamaica in late August to early September 1998 and interviewed more than thirty children about their experiences in the lockups. About half of the children we spoke to were in lockups at the time of the interviews, and the remaining children were interviewed after their transfer from police lockups to other government institutions.
All of the lockups we visited were appallingly filthy, with damp, urine-covered floors, virtually no ventilation, and poor or nonexistent lighting. Prisoners were crammed together into tiny cells: in the case of one lockup, for instance, 138 prisoners (including numerous seventeen-year-olds, at least three sixteen-year-olds, and a fifteen-year-old) were crowded into ten cells with a stated maximum capacity of fifty prisoners. Each ten-by-ten-foot cell contained between eleven and fourteen prisoners, although each cell had only one concrete bunk.
Prisoners had no bedding materials but slept instead on tattered and filthy bits of newspaper and cardboard or on the damp concrete floor itself. Because of the lack of ventilation, prisoners had no respite from the extreme heat. The stench in the cells was overpowering-with access to functional toilets severely restricted by the guards, prisoners had little choice but to urinate and defecate in the cells.
Human Rights Watch found that children detained in police lockups remain in their overcrowded cells twenty-four hours a day, let out, if at all, only for court dates and for once-daily trips to the filthy toilet and showers. There are no exercise facilities. The children receive no education at all and have reading materials only if books are brought in by family members. In many lockups, the dim lighting (at times near-darkness, even during the day) makes reading impossible anyway.
No lockups have doctors on the premises or regular visits from medical practitioners; detained children are given health care only in emergencies-and even then only if the police are willing to transport a sick or wounded child to the hospital, which they do not always do. Several of the children we met were visibly injured or ill, but most had received no medical attention. Most prisoners told Human Rights Watch that they must rely on visits from family members to get enough food, as the food supplied in the lockups is limited and of poor quality. In some lockups, children reported going for several days with no food at all, or with only bread or buns.
Children held in lockups are at risk of being victimized by adults. Those children detained in cells with adults are often the prey of older prisoners; although some of the children interviewed reported no major problems in this area, others told us that they had been beaten, raped, and stabbed by older prisoners. Many children (and adult prisoners) told Human Rights Watch of deliberate physical and mental abuse by the police. In the case of children, mental and emotional abuse ranged from "rough talk" (insults and threats) to mock executions. Physical abuse ranged from being pushed around to severe beatings. One fifteen-year-old girl told us that she had been raped by a police officer while held in a lockup overnight.
At any given time, over 90 percent of the prisoners in police lockups are "remand prisoners," pretrial detainees held in detention because bail has not been granted or because they cannot afford the bail set. This is as true for children as for other prisoners. Many of the children we met had no lawyers, and those with lawyers (generally court-appointed) told us that they spoke with their attorneys rarely, if at all, and often only moments before appearing in court.
After conviction, prisoners are sent to a penitentiary, or, in the case of children, to a juvenile correctional center. Reports indicate that although conditions in Jamaican prisons are also poor, prisons generally have at least minimal exercise and vocational activities and are not as severely overcrowded as the police lockups. Ironically, then, children who are pretrial detainees- presumed innocent-are held in far worse conditions than convicted criminals.
Not all children in police lockups are accused of criminal offenses, however. Some are detained simply for status offenses-acts that would not be crimes if committed by adults, such as truancy, running away from home, or being "uncontrollable". Others are detained because they have been abused or neglected and await permanent placement in appropriate institutions.
In Jamaica, children detained by the authorities generally fall into one of two categories: (1) children suspected of committing a criminal offense; (2) children thought to be "in need of care and protection" (i.e., children who authorities feel are neglected, abused, or "uncontrollable" by parents or guardians).
Under Jamaican law detained children (regardless of whether they have been accused of a crime or are in need of care and protection) are in most cases supposed to be sent to a "place of safety" (a nonsecure short-term institutional care facility run either by the Children's Services Division or by a charitable organization under government supervision) while waiting for a court to arrive at some decision about their case. Only children suspected or convicted of extremely serious and violent offenses-or children whose behavior makes them appear to be a serious threat to others-are supposed to be placed in maximum security settings.
Nonetheless, many children who are abused, neglected, or accused of only petty offenses remain in police lockups for long periods: we met one thirteen-year-old boy, for instance, who had been held in a police lockup for eight months after being accused of stealing a radio. Police officials told Human Rights Watch that the boy had been held for so long not because of his alleged theft, but because he had no family able to care for him and was therefore "in need of care and protection." Despite this, the boy was treated like a criminal and housed in a crowded and filthy police cell rather than in a facility specially designed for the care of children.
Human Rights Watch found that conditions in the facilities run by the Jamaica Children's Services Division (which include "places of safety" and "children's homes") and by the Correctional Services Department (which include the Juvenile Remand Center) were much better than in the police lockups.
While the Remand Center is high security, the places of safety and children's homes are nonsecure facilities. In all these facilities, children slept in dormitories rather than in cells, with each dormitory room housing, in general, ten to fifteen children. Rooms in these facilities were often somewhat shabby, and some displayed a great deal of broken-down furniture and fixtures (in one place of safety, for instance, about two thirds of the sinks and toilets appeared to be broken). Nonetheless, facilities appeared reasonably clean, and trained staff included social workers and teachers; facilities offered vocational and academic classes, counseling, and exercise opportunities.
These facilities could all bear substantial improvement, as Jamaican government officials readily acknowledged. In particular, intake procedures and the provision of physical and mental health care could be greatly improved. Similarly, some children complained of abusive treatment from staff and other children.
On the whole, however, we did not encounter many reports of serious abuses occurring at the Remand Center, children's homes, or places of safety, and conditions seemed to be adequate. To the degree that abuses occur in these facilities, they appear to be occasional rather than systematic. The most serious abuses occur while children are in police custody.
In 1994, Human Rights Watch published a report on children in Jamaican police lockups that documented atrocious conditions similar to those that are to be found today. Although several interviewees in the Jamaican nongovernmental organization (NGO) community told us that conditions in lockups improved slightly in the wake of the 1994 report, and our own findings suggest that the Jamaican police have made some attempt to keep children from being held in cells with adults, the improvements have been minor and largely skin deep. Four years after we first investigated the situation of children in police lockups, the Jamaican government has made little real progress.
"Wilbur" was sixteen when he was interviewed by Human Rights Watch researchers at the St. Andrew's Juvenile Remand Center. An extraordinarily articulate boy, Wilbur, who spent roughly a month in various police lockups before being sent to the Remand Center, told us his story in great detail. It illustrates many of the hardships faced by impoverished Jamaican children unlucky enough to come into contact with the police or the courts:
Now I'm here because the court says that I'm in need of care and protection. But the reason the police found me first was that I was arrested for larceny and breaking and entering. After that I was in many lockups. First, Annatto Bay, then Castleton, then Oracabessa. In Annatto Bay, I was in a cell with three guys, all adults. It was very dark, with very limited air, just coming in from small holes. It smelled like fear.
I wasn't there long before I was transferred to the lockup at Oracabessa, which was horrible. The first night-maybe it was just unfortunate. When I went in, they had two cells. The first was filled up with drugs the police had seized, so everyone was in the other cell. For me, because I'm a juvenile, they didn't put me in the cell at first, but handcuffed me in the passage between the cells. Later they put me in the cell. The stench was like tear-gas.
The cell was tiny, and it was full of feces, bugs, and garbage. I slept on a piece of cardboard on the floor. It was like sleeping in a toilet. And there was an adult, an alleged murderer, right next to me in the cell. At one point I complained about the stench, and the police said it was their job to keep me in the cell, because in the passage I might escape, and they would get in trouble.
When they transferred me to the lockup at Castleton, it was wonderful, by comparison. I had more freedom and space. The only problem was that they put me in a cell with three other juveniles, including a twelve-year-old who tried to hang himself. He was a case of larceny, but they also said he was uncontrollable, so he was in the lockup. But he didn't seem uncontrollable to me, just unhappy. He had a very close bond with his mother, and he missed her. When he tried to hang himself I had to call for the police to lock him down.
When I first was arrested the police were calm and nice. This was, first, because I turned myself in, and second, because I [cooperated]. The investigator was okay. He said I was the only person he ever arrested he didn't have to beat.
Some police were nice; some had attitudes. I guess they're under pressure, too, and sometimes they behave in ways that are bad. I've seen them beat people. I never got beaten. But one time, after they transferred me, they let me out of the jeep, and I thought they were going to take me inside. But a big policeman I didn't know came to me and pulled out his gun and pointed it at my head, and said "This is it!" to me. I was so frightened, it brought tears to my eyes and I felt it emotionally. I thought I would die. I thought, is this how they treat people?
Another policeman told him to leave me alone, and said it was just a joke. But I didn't think it was funny.
Children suffer in police lockups in part because no one Jamaican agency takes responsibility for their welfare. The police, the Children's Services Division, the Correctional Services Department, and the court system all sought to disclaim all responsibility for the plight of children in police lockups.
Police officers told us repeatedly that they did not wish to have responsibility for remand prisoners of any age, since their lockups were designed for only a few short-term prisoners, and not for hundreds of long-term detainees. Despite this, they said, judges keep remanding pretrial prisoners rather than granting them bail, and since space is short in places of safety and remand centers, there's simply nowhere to put prisoners except police lockups. Many senior police officials also told us candidly that the police lacked the training to deal with long-term detainees or juveniles. The police insisted, however, that altering the training given to police or upgrading the lockups was not within their power, for resource reasons, and that these decisions had to be made on the ministerial level.
The Correctional Services Department also disclaimed all responsibility, saying that they were only supposed to hold post-conviction prisoners, and that they currently hold a small number of juveniles on remand only as an interim measure. Senior Correctional Services officials told us that they had no control over whether children were sent to police lockups, or over the conditions in those lockups.
Similarly, the top officials in the Children's Services Division of the Ministry of Health told us they can almost always find spaces for children in places of safety, but that police don't always inform them if children are present in the lockups, and they have no capacity or mandate to inspect or monitor lockups. They also told us that they cannot keep particularly uncontrollable children in their facilities, since their facilities are not secure. In practice, they acknowledged that this means that some children thought to be violent or a consistent discipline problem have no place to go other than lockups.
Finally, the court system disclaims responsibility. The law requires that many children be remanded in custody, either because the children need care and protection or because they are suspected of a serious offense. If a child cannot be released because of the severity of the offense or because he or she has no family able to provide care, and if the remand center or the places of safety cannot or will not take a child, the judge must remand a child back to the lockups.
Human Rights Watch researchers watched a number of Family Court hearings, in one of which a judge reluctantly sent a fifteen-year-old boy back to a police lockup. The boy had been in custody for over a year already, and was still awaiting trial; his trial was delayed because of the difficulty in getting police witnesses to appear in court. The boy had spent a period of time in the remand center, but had been sent back to the lockups because the remand center felt that he was a discipline problem. As we watched, the judge told the boy, "It's not right that young boys should be locked up. Whatever you have done, we can't just give up on you. It's wrong. But there is nothing I can do-I have to send you back [to the lockup] until your trial."
Since each agency that deals in any way with detained children disclaims responsibility for what goes on in the lockups, nothing changes, and decisions are made in a leadership and policy vacuum. No one agency is able entirely to solve the problem of children in lockups, and, too much of the time, this becomes an excuse for each agency to continue to do nothing at all.
For the abuses to be checked, major policy changes must be made at the Jamaican ministerial and parliamentary levels. And in the meantime, all of the relevant agencies need to begin to take responsibility for those aspects of the problem that are within their control, and to collaborate to solve those problems that come about because of poor coordination and communication.
This report is based upon research conducted in Jamaica between August 28 and September 5, 1998. The Human Rights Watch research team visited six police lockups (Spanishtown, Kingston Central, Gun Court, Ewarton, Matilda's Corner, and Portmore). In the first four, our researchers interviewed prisoners; in the latter two, no prisoners were present (at Matilda's Corner, the eight detained children had all been transferred during the day of our visit; at Portmore, the cells were being renovated and no prisoners were yet held). We also sought to visit the lockup at Halfway Tree, whose conditions were reportedly among the most egregious, but although we had previously arranged the visit through the commissioner of police, we were informed upon arrival that we would not be permitted either to tour the cells or interview prisoners. In the lockups, we interviewed about fifteen children between the ages of thirteen and sixteen, along with about the same number of seventeen-year-olds and several adult prisoners. All of the children interviewed in the lockups were male.
Human Rights Watch also visited a "children's home" for girls (a long-term institutional care facility) and two "places of safety" (one for boys and one for girls). All these facilities were run by the Children's Services Division. Finally, we visited Jamaica's only juvenile remand center, run by the Correctional Services Department. In these facilities, we interviewed sixteen children who had previously been held in police lockups for periods ranging from a few days to (in the majority of cases) several weeks or months. The children we interviewed in these facilities ranged in age from twelve to sixteen, and included four girls.
In the children's home and in both of the places of safety, staff respected our request that we be allowed to interview children privately. In both the Juvenile Remand Center and the lockups, however, police officers and facility staff refused to authorize us to interview children privately, although some confidential conversations with children and young adults were in fact possible.
In this report, the names of all children interviewed have been changed to protect the children's privacy.
In addition to visits to places in which children were detained, Human Rights Watch researchers conducted background interviews with ministers, attorneys, representatives of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), police officers, judges, and social workers. We also interviewed several high-ranking government officials, including the Commissioner of Police, the Commissioner of Correctional Services, and the Director of Children's Services.
To the Government of Jamaica
Ensure thatJamaican law conforms to international standards for the treatment of children,and in particular, that the Juveniles Act (as amended) and the Legal Aid Act of1997 comply with international human rights law. Work to bring Jamaica'sjuvenile justice system into conformity with the international guidelines expressedin the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice(the Beijing Rules). A comprehensive Child Protection Act is currently beingdrafted to bring Jamaican law into conformity with international standards;this Act should be finalized and implemented.
Police Detention of Children:
Immediatelyend the practice of detaining children in police lockup cells.
If childrencontinue to be held in police lockups, ensure that they at no time share cellswith adult detainees.
If childrencontinue to be detained in police lockups, or if temporary police custody isunavoidable, children should under no circumstances be detained overnight.
As a steptowards ending the practice of detaining children in police lockups, enactmeasures to minimize the amount of police involvement with children. Policeshould not bear long-term responsibility for juveniles.
As a steptowards ending the practice of detaining children in police lockups, requirepolice officers to notify Correctional Services and Children's Servicesimmediately upon apprehending a criminally accused child or taking custody of achild "in need of care and protection."
As a steptowards compliance, require superintendents in charge of Jamaica's policelockups to permit unqualified access upon request by an independent monitoringagency empowered to inspect the facilities periodically to ascertain whetherchildren are being improperly detained. Justices of the Peace, Jamaica'sparliamentary ombudsman, or other agents of comparable independence andcommunity status, could be employed to serve in this regard.
Establishinstitutions and procedures to expedite the investigation and punishment ofpolice officers who commit abuses, and take immediate steps to eliminate policebrutality, including enforcing stringent guidelines to govern the treatment ofpretrial detainees.
Maintainadequate records regarding the arrest and detention of children, including,inter alia, each child's name, date of birth, alleged crime or reason for detention,existing family members or guardians, place(s) of detention, the dates andreasons for transfer between institutions, and court history.
The Ministryof Justice and National Security should order an immediate review of allchildren in police custody or remand centers with an eye toward promptlyreleasing those who pose no threat to public safety.
Children in Detention and Custody, Generally:
Ensure thatin all facilities housing or detaining children, staff are trained in thespecial needs of children, and treat children with respect and dignity.
Protectchildren in state detention or custody from assaults and all forms of cruel,humiliating or degrading treatment by police, staff, or other detainees.
Ensure thatall institutions in which children are housed provide a safe and healthyenvironment for children. Correct any health code violations promptly.
Providemedical evaluations and treatment for all children in state custody; maintainrecords of health status and medication given.
In allfacilities in which children are housed or detained, provide adequateprogramming and educational instruction to ensure that children are notspending their time without any activity. The purpose of programming andeducation is to prepare children for successful reintegration into society.
Establish aclear prohibition on the use of corporal punishment in police lockups, schools,places of safety, children's homes and the Juvenile Remand Center.
Establishgrievance procedures for children in all institutions.
Ask the U.N.Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Centre in Vienna for technical assistanceto ameliorate the treatment of children in the justice system.
If existingplaces of safety, children's homes and remand centers are inadequate to housethe number of children requiring short or longer-term custody or care, developadditional placements that are appropriate for children.
Inparticular, continue to explore alternatives to institutionalization, andexpand community-based parole and placement options for children, particularlythose apprehended for status offenses and non-violent crimes.
Access of Children to Counsel and to the Courts:
Fullyimplement the Legal Aid Act of 1997, and ensure that all detained children arerepresented by attorneys, at government expense if a child is unable to affordan attorney.
Providechildren with regular access to their attorneys, in person or by telephone.
Ensure thatprivate attorneys assigned to provide legal aid to children accused of offensesdischarge their responsibilities professionally and provide representation thatsafeguards the best interests of the child. Lawyers who mismanage, neglect ornegligently handle the juvenile criminal cases they have been assigned shouldbe subject to sanctions by the General Legal Counsel.
The Legal AidClinic at Norman Manley Law School should be expanded in order to alleviatesome of the caseload currently borne by private attorneys and the legal aidoffices of Montego Bay and Kingston.
Enforce theright of children to a speedy trial and, in particular, cease remandingchildren into police custody when trials are delayed because of the absence ofpolice witnesses or other evidentiary factors beyond the child's control.Should police or other witnesses fail to appear as required, children shouldnot be punished by further remands and indefinite detention.
Judges in thefamily and juvenile courts should ensure that, when the remand of a childbecomes strictly necessary, the child will be held at an appropriateinstitution for children. Under no circumstances should this determination ofan "appropriate institution" be delegated to the Jamaican constabulary.
Take steps toreduce the persistent backlog in the juvenile and family courts.
Other Recommendations to the Jamaican Government:
The currentMinistry of Justice and National Security was consolidated several years agofrom the previously distinctMinistries of Justice and National Security. The government should considerseparating the ministries again, because of the divergent, and at timescontrary, prerogatives pursued by each.
Instituteprograms to reduce juvenile crime and to improve relations between localcommunities and the Jamaican constabulary.
Establish aninteragency children's board to facilitate communication and coordinationbetween and among the Jamaican Constabulary, Children's Services andCorrectional Services.
To the Jamaican Constabulary
Enforce theexisting policy that requires police officers, whenever they detain a childtemporarily in custody, to submit a written report immediately describing theexigent circumstances that necessitate this measure.
Instructofficers to immediately transfer children "in need of care and protection" toplaces of safety.
Ensure thatchildren are not interrogated in the absence of lawyers.
Improvecommunications facilities at remote and rural police lockups. Ensure that each,at a minimum, maintains some means of immediately contacting Children'sServices.
Providetraining to police, both new recruits and current officers, that emphasizes thedistinctive procedures and attitudes that should inform their treatment ofchildren, both those in conflict with the law and those deemed "in need of careand protection."
Prominentlypost rules relating to children in all police stations and ensure that allofficers comply with them.
Immediatelyinstitute measures to improve conditions in police lockups, including but notlimited to:
improvingcell ventilation to ensure an adequate flow of fresh air;
ensuringthat cells are properly maintained and are clean and dry;
ensuringthat detainees receive plentiful clean water and fresh food adequate to theirnutritional needs;
providingsoap, bedding material, and other basic sanitary necessities;
ensuringthat all prisoners receive at least one hour of exercise each day;
initiatingprograms of education for longer-term detainees;
ensuringthat toilets and other sanitary facilities in lockups are kept clean and ingood working order,
ensuringthat children are permitted to use the toilets as needed;
ensuringthat detainees receive adequate medical care and that a doctor visitsregularly.
To the Department of Children's Services
Assumeresponsibility for ensuring that police lockups are regularly inspected toascertain whether children have been improperly detained. If necessary, enlistthe assistance of well-respected and independent institutions, whether public,such as Justices of the Peace, or private, such as local church groups andcommunity leaders.
Keep thepolice apprised of current vacancies at children's homes and places of safety.
Establish atwenty-four-hour hotline to facilitate immediate communication between policeand children's services whenever a child has been apprehended or been found inneed of care and protection.
Cooperatewith church groups and nongovernmental organizations to encourage greatercommunity awareness of and assistance for children in need.
Improveintake procedures at places of safety and children's homes, and in particular,inquire into the child's prior history in state institutions and the possibleexistence of relatives or guardians responsible for the child's well-being.
To the Department of Correctional Services
Transfer allremanded children who do not require detention in a maximum security facilityto places of safety and children's homes. The Juvenile Remand Center should bereserved strictly for children deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
Regularlyprovide Children's Services with information concerning the number of vacanciesavailable in the Juvenile Remand Center and the presence of children who maynot (or no longer) require maximum security detention.
To the United Nations
The U.N.Committee on the Rights of the Child should reexamine the treatment of childrenin police custody and institutions and make its best efforts to persuadeJamaica to ensure safe, healthy, and non-abusive treatment of children in thejustice system.
UNICEF shouldprovide assistance to the government of Jamaica to improve the treatment ofchildren in the justice system.
The WorldHealth Organization should investigate the conditions in which children aredetained in unhealthy lockups.
The U.N.Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Center should give technical assistanceto the Jamaican government to correct existing problems in the juvenile justicesystem.
The U.N.Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatmentor Punishment should visit Jamaica and investigate the treatment of children inthe justice system.
To Donor Governments:
Donor governments should earmark assistance for:
improvingconditions in police lockups, remand centers, and other facilities forchildren;
ending delaysin handling cases of children in Jamaican courts;
trainingpolice, care-givers and other staff members who deal with children in thejustice system.
In many ways we have regressed as a nation. Poverty is onthe increase, the educational system can't keep up, and more and more kids haveno stable adult presence in their lives. In poor neighborhoods, the relationswith police are tension-filled, and there are all sorts of allegations ofpolice brutality... Some communities are virtual war zones. And there aren't enoughchildren's services... Many of us middle class people are not even aware of howlife has changed for many people in our country, how life is for poor children.There's a lack of care and concern. It's a breakdown of community... For somepeople, ignorance is bliss. They don't want to know. For many people, these arenobody's children.
The Reverend NorbertStephens
This section surveys the principal domestic andinternational legal standards governing Jamaica's treatment of children,and it describes the social, economic, cultural, and political backgroundagainst which these laws operate.
Jamaica's domestic law and international legal commitmentsappear to guarantee children some of the rights required by internationalstandards for the protection of minors. Yet social, economic, and politicalfactors-rooted in Jamaican history and the influence of contemporarytrends-often combine to subvert many of these standards. The socioeconomicconditions under which Jamaica's legal obligations must be implemented, coupledwith escalating societal unrest over juvenile crime, have created circumstancesin which children's rights become a low priority-and the legal framework thatin theory protects children often breaks down in practice.
A Context of Rising Juvenile Crime
While politics has been an abiding source of division and,at times, large-scale violence in Jamaican society,many Human Rights Watch interviewees told us that political affiliations inJamaica today reflect a sense of personal identification and historical loyaltymore than any major ideological differences.From the mid-twentieth century to the early 1980s, political patronage at timesconsisted in certain corrupt politicians distributing guns, material goods andother favors to establish spheres of influence and gain votes.Today, inherited loyalties to one party or the other often remain in manyJamaican communities, even though the original reasons for loyalty to aparticular party may no longer exist.
Since the mid-1970s, Jamaica's economy has sufferedsignificant decline. The demand for bauxite slowed in the late-1960s and anincrease in crime and violence caused lasting damage to Jamaica's touristindustry. This decline continues. In the words of Jamaican community activistFather Richard Albert, "After more than thirty-five years of independence,things have gotten worse... banks are closing, and the middle class is beingwiped out."
Jamaica's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate fell from1.4 percent in 1993 to -2.4 percent in 1997.Economic decline, in turn, has exacerbated Jamaica's escalating crime rates.Although the overall incidence of reported crimes fell by 10 percent in 1997,the 1990s have witnessed an average annual increase of 3.2 percent, and themurder rate has continued to rise by approximately 11 percent per year.The origins of Jamaica's consistent problem with urban violence, while complex,appear to have originated in significant part from in its turbulent politicalhistory.
Political Violence and the Emergence of Youth Gangs
According to a recent World Bank report on urban poverty andviolence in Jamaica, partisan political violence has been "a constant featureof Jamaican party politics, from the first elections in 1944."While initially partisan violence involved "sticks-and-stones clashes"intended to intimidate voters, the polarization of Jamaica's urban communitiesbecame increasingly warlike. According to many observers of the Jamaicanpolitical scene, however, political patronage in the form of weapons "handouts"has declined recently, leading to what some commentators see as the "steadyreduction of political violence in the late 1980s and its virtual cessation bythe early 90s."Instead, the gangs that arose out of party violence have grown increasinglyindependent of their political origins.Local "dons" now stake out spheres of control within poor urban communities,and clashes over territory, status, and control (of the drug trade, forinstance) generate fighting between the various gangs.
This has coincided with a dramatic increase in youth crime.As the World Bank study observed, "A decade ago gangs were formed by youngadults. Today's gangs comprised youths aged twelve to fifteen, and every youthhad access to a gun if he wished."In Jamaica, where approximately forty percent of the population consists ofchildren aged eleven to seventeen,this trend is widely perceived as a serious problem by the general populace andhas encouraged a "tough-on-crime" political atmospherethat devalues concern for the human rights of children accused of offenses. AsLloyd Barnett of the Jamaica Council for Human Rights notes wryly, "The publicare more concerned with their own safety than with [programs that emphasize]prevention or with helping detained kids."
Relations Between the Urban Poor and Jamaica'sConstabulary
The emerging phenomenon of youth gangs has exacerbated thealready tense relationship between the Jamaican Constabulary and local urbancommunities. Gangs undoubtedly contribute to urban violence-yet in many poorcommunities, residents may come to perceive their local "dons" as protectors,providing security, stability, and order that the police fail to offer. Arecent report by the Centre for Population, Community and Social Changedescribes this phenomenon:
Whatever the acts of terror against a rival community,or the illegal acts against outside businesses or individuals,the rule was not to terrorize the people ofyour own community...This made for a perceived and appreciatedintra-community safety and order, even in the midst of the war betweencommunities. Often as a result, the dons and other lesser Robin Hood gunmen,who distributed to the poor what they robbed from the rich, were protected bythe community from the strict arm of the law.
Consequently, local residents at times refuse to cooperatewith police inquiries into violence between rival gangs, preferring to trustand rely upon those who are rooted in the community, rather than the police,who may be viewed as outsiders-and, indeed, even as oppressors-as they seek tostamp out many of the illegal or quasi-legal activities through which some poorurban communities maintain their economic viability.This attitude, in turn, provokes the police to resort to further force indealing with recalcitrant communities, escalating the mutual distrust andhostility between Jamaican police and civilians.
Human rights abuses by the Jamaican police have been welldocumented and publicized.Many human rights abuses perpetrated by the Jamaican police-including, forinstance, summary executions disguised as killings in shoot-outs and unprovokedbrutality towards vagrants and street children-stem from what the U.S.Department of State terms a "long-standing antipathy between the securityforces and certain communities, especially the urban poor."
While both current Police Commissioner Francis Forbes andhis predecessor, Commissioner McMillian, have made efforts to ameliorate thesetensions by professionalizing the force, many urban poor, particularly theyoung, continue to view the police with suspicion and often with outrighthostility. And as Carl Rattray, the President of the Jamaican Court of Appeals,observed, "If the community views the police as the enemy, policing becomesvery difficult, leading to worsening relations... when there's disturbances inthe area, the police will often just sweep everyone up."
Agencies With Responsibility for Children
The Role of the Police
Among those government agencies that share responsibilityfor children, the police constitute both the most likely "first contact," aswell as an agency empowered to exercise broad discretion at a crucial juncturein the series of events affecting children's welfare. Police who apprehend achild on suspicion of criminal activity-or who assume custody, whether byrequest or by warrant, over a child "in need of care and protection"-have theindependent authority to place a child in a "place of safety," to detain him orhertemporarilyin a lockup shouldthe child be deemed dangerous, or to return the child to his or her parent orguardian.
Jamaican law states that no child should be held for overtwenty-four hours in police custody. If exceptions are made, PoliceCommissioner Forbes explained, officers who detain children for a period beyondtwenty-four hours must submit a written report explaining the extenuatingcircumstances that necessitate this measure.
Nevertheless, in practice, Human Rights Watch found thatpolice often detain children for longer periods, sometimes for articulablereasons (e.g., because transferring a child to an alternative facility wouldrequire unavailable transportation or because they believe other facilities tobe full) but often simply because police feel justified in exercising theirdiscretion to detain certain juvenile offenders in lockups as an unauthorizedpunitive measure.
The Children's Services Division
An officer who apprehends a child has the responsibility tolocate an immediate placement for that child in a facility run by theChildren's Services Division, an independent agency within the jurisdiction ofthe Ministry of Health. The Children's Services Division handles children inneed of care and protection (i.e., children abused, neglected, or abandoned),children accused of the commission of a criminal offense (with the exception ofthose deemed by the court system to be so violent or dangerous as to warrantcontinuing police custody), and children whose parents surrender them as"uncontrollable." If, after contacting all the relevant facilities in search ofan appropriate placement for an apprehended child, a police officer finds thatno space is available, he or she is supposed to immediately notify theChildren's Services Division, which will then locate alternative temporaryplacements for the child.
Depending upon the needs of the child, Children's Servicescan facilitate court proceedings, provide temporary shelter for a child in a"place of safety" (pending trial or long-term placement), communicate with thechild's parents or guardians or provide long-term supervision for the childthrough foster care, adoption or placement of the child in a "children's home."
Although Children's Services is the central agencyresponsible for children's welfare, they rely heavily on police information andcooperation to render services to children in need. Should the police fail toinform the agency of a child apprehended or "in need of care and protection,"Children's Services lacks a monitoring mechanism for discovering the existenceof a child in need of its services.
The Department of Correctional Services
The final agency that bears some responsibility forchildren's welfare under Jamaica's current system is the Department ofCorrectional Services, which lies within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justiceand National Security.According to the formal division of responsibility among Jamaica's governmentalagencies, Correctional Services bears responsibility only for convictedchildren. It administers two "approved schools" or "juvenile correctionalcenters" for boys (Rio Cobre and Hilltop), and one similar institution forgirls (Armadale). After a judge enters a correctional order, CorrectionalServices assumes custody of the child and places him or her in one of thesemaximum security facilities. Children in these institutions receive someeducational and vocational training, and provision is made for their exerciseand recreation.
Correctional Services also administers Jamaica's sole"juvenile remand center," a maximum security detention facility used to holdchildren accused of more serious crimes pending trial. Although CorrectionalServices, as its representatives repeatedly emphasized, is not "responsible forremands; remands are strictly for Children's Services,"it administers the juvenile remand center because it maintains the necessarystaff and resources to adequately handle children who must be detained in amaximum security facility. Though the Juvenile Remand Center is not intended asa center for the long-term placement of children, in practice, the consistentbacklog of cases in family and juvenile court often keeps children at theRemand Center for over a year.
Relevant Legal Standards
International Legal Standards
Under international law, children enjoy rights andprotections derived not only from human rights treaties that pertain generallyto all individuals, such as the International Covenant on Civil and PoliticalRights (ICCPR),but also from treaties and internationally acknowledged guidelines designedexpressly to address the special needs of children. These include the U.N.Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (BeijingRules),the U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty (U.N.Rules),the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency(Riyadh Guidelines)and, most critically, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).Moreover, children in detention, like all detained persons, should be treatedin a manner that conforms to the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment ofPrisoners (Standard Minimum Rules).
The CRC presumptively defines a juvenile as an individualunder the age of eighteen,and it sets forth several broad categories of rights belonging to children.Jamaica signed and ratified the CRC on, respectively, January 26, 1990, and May14, 1991. The Beijing Rules, Riyadh, Guidelines and U.N. Rules provideadditional authoritative guidance that informs the practical content of thelegally binding framework established by the CRC. They also provide explicitstandards to guide states' treatment of juveniles who come into conflict withthe law. Together, these instruments afford children, inter alia, the followinggeneral categories of rights and protections:
Protection from Violence, Injury, and Neglect
Under the CRC, states undertake to shield children fromill-treatment, including protection from violence, injury, sexual abuse, andneglect.With due regard for parental rights, this includes establishing alternativeinstitutions for children who lack a stable and healthy family environment.All decisions concerning removal of children from their parents or guardiansmust be made with regard for the best interests of the child under thecircumstances.
Access to Health Care, Education, and Recreation
States recognize that children possess the right to a "astandard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral,and social development,"and they undertake, as necessary, to implement measures ensuring childrenhealth care, education, and recreation.The U.N. Rules extend these guarantees to children who come into conflict withthe law.The CRC also requires that special care be afforded to mentally or physicallydisabled children.
Rights of Children Accused of Criminal Offenses
Article 40 of the CRC sets forth minimum standardsgoverning states' treatment of children accused of criminal offenses. Theseinclude, among others:
The right tobe presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The right tobe informed promptly of the criminal charges alleged against them.
The right totrial without delay by a competent and impartial tribunal.
The right tolegal counsel and, if necessary, to an interpreter.
The Beijing Rules reaffirm these "basic proceduralsafeguards"but additionally set forth special measures concerning the investigation andprosecution of juvenile cases, as well as their adjudication and disposition:
Officialsapprehending juveniles on suspicion of criminal conduct should immediatelynotify the child's parents or guardians and a judge or other authoritative bodywho "shall, without delay, consider the issue of release."
Officers whodeal frequently with juvenile crime should be specially trained to handle thedistinctive needs of children in conflict with the law.
Neithercorporal punishment nor, in those states that maintain it, capital punishmentshould be imposed on children, notwithstanding the nature of the crime.
Lastly,states must make available a broad variety of measures-including, but notlimited to, community service orders, foster care, group counseling,restitution, and probation-that afford the judiciary maximal "flexibility so asto avoid institutionalization to the greatest extent possible."
Rights of Children in Detention
The CRC proscribes the arbitrary detention of children anddictates that arrest, detention, and imprisonment of children "shall be usedonly as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period oftime."This principle, paramount among legal guidelines for the treatment of children,also features emphatically in the Beijing Rules, the Riyadh Guidelines, and theU.N. Rules,reflecting broad international consensus that incarcerating children is rarelyappropriate. When the detention of children in conflict with the law becomesunavoidable, the CRC and related international guidelines delineate strictstandards to which states must adhere:
Juvenilesmust be detained separately from adults, either in a separate institution or ina segregated area of an institution that also holds adult detainees.
Childrenawaiting trial must be separated from convicted children.
Uponadmission, the authorities shall conduct an interview with the child andprepare a "psychological and social report identifying any factors relevant tothe specific type and level of care and programme required."
Detentionfacilities must provide clean sleeping accommodations and sanitary facilitiesadequate to their health and privacy needs.
Children incustody must be provided with education, preferably at an institution away fromthe detention facility, medical treatment, and a physical environment withadequate provision for recreation and exercise.
No child indetention shall be subjected to "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,including corporal punishment, placement in a dark cell, closed or solitaryconfinement or any other punishment that may compromise the physical or mentalhealth" of the child.
The stateshould provide for unqualified access to juvenile detention facilities by anindependent inspection agency not directly affiliated with the detentionfacility.
Childrenenjoy all rights and standards set forth in the Standard Minimum Rules,including those to adequate accommodation, personal hygiene, clothing, food andexercise, as well as to protection from disciplinary measures that abrogate theguidelines promulgated by the Standard Minimum Rulesand access to an independent complaints mechanism.
Domestic Legal Standards
The Jamaican Constitution (1962)
Chapter III of Jamaica's 1962 Constitution affords allJamaican citizens fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the right tolife, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, protection from torture andother cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, as well as a catalogue of widelyshared protections for the criminally accused. Its language closely tracks theUniversal Declaration of Human Rightsand the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Juveniles Act of 1951
"When a tree is old, you can't bend it. You can only bend itwhen it is young."
Sipzroy Bryan,Jamaican Union of Correctional Officers
The Jamaica Juveniles Act of 1951 (Juveniles Act), asamended, constitutes the principal domestic instrument that implements rightsrecognized by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and relatedinternational guidelines. In conformity with Article 4 of the U.N. Rules, theJuveniles Act sets forth a minimum age (twelve years) beneath which no childmay be found criminally liable.In addition, the Juveniles Act defines "juvenile," for purposes of criminalresponsibility, as a person beneath the age of seventeen.
Consequently, although the "Age of Majority Act" defines achild as any person under the age of eighteen, Jamaica persists in treatingseventeen-year-olds accused of criminal offenses as adults; and they may betried and sentenced accordingly.
The Juveniles Act establishes a series of measures designedto address (1) juveniles "in need of care and protection"; and (2) juvenilesaccused of criminal offenses. Article 11 authorizes judicial officers to issuea warrant permitting constables to remove abused, neglected, or otherwisemaltreated children to "places of safety,"where they may be held pending disposition of their case by the court.Constables and other authorized individuals may also bring before the juvenilecourt children who seek their assistance (e.g., runaways or abused children)and are deemed "in need of care and protection."
When the child's case comes before the court, a justice mayeither (1) issue an "interim order" remanding the child to a place of safety orto the Juvenile Remand Center for up to thirty days, pending the gathering offurther germane information or the location of the child's relations; or (2)issue one of four dispositive orders directing that: (a) the child be sent to a"juvenile correctional center,"(b) the child be committed to the care of a "fit person," whether a relative ornot, (c) the child's parent or guardian "take recognizance" of and properlycare for the child, or (d) the child be placed under the supervision of aprobation officer for a period not to exceed three years.
The court's decision concerning children "in need of careand protection" will, in theory, be informed by the investigation and report ofa "children's officer."Moreover, according to several interviewees, children "in need of care andprotection" should not be remanded more than two times and should spend no morethan a total of ninety days in a place of safety or at the juvenile remandcenter; the Juveniles Act, however, contains no express provision to thiseffect.
The Juveniles Act invests the Commissioner of Police withresponsibility to ensure that juveniles apprehended on suspicion of criminal activityare not detained with adults.It further entrusts "the officer or sub-officer of police in charge of thepolice station to which he [the juvenile] is brought" with discretion, based onan inquiry into the child's case, either to release the child to an appropriateindividual on bail or to detain the child at a place of safety pending his orher court appearance.Thereafter, the court maintains power to remand children into custody, pendingthe production of witnesses or the procurement of evidence, or, if necessary,to commit the child to a maximum security facility, "including a prison."
Police bear the responsibility for finding a place of safetyin which to detain the child pending disposition of the case. Although noprovision limits the number of times that a juvenile accused of an offense maybe remanded, the Juveniles Act provides that the accused child must appearbefore the court at least once every thirty days.
At trial, "it shall be the duty of the court to ascertainthe defense, if any, of the juvenile"and ultimately, to record a finding based upon the evidence as well as upongermane information submitted by a probation officer assigned to investigatethe child's case.
Upon conviction, the court may issue one of eightdispositive orders, including dismissing the case, committing the child to thecare of a probation officeror guardian, returning the child to his or her parents, ordering criminalrestitution, and sentencing the child to a "juvenile correctional facility."Both children "in need of care and protection" and children convicted of minoroffenses may also be committed to the care of a "children's home"at the discretion of the court.
The Juveniles Act prohibits capital punishment forjuveniles.Instead of executing juveniles who have committed capital offenses, however,Jamaica detains them under an antiquated law known as the "Governor General'sPleasure," which permits children detained for capital offenses to be heldindefinitely at the discretion of the governor-general.Corporal punishment remains legal in schools, in the home and at "places ofsafety," although approximately one year ago it was prohibited at the JuvenileRemand Center.
Presently, legal aid in criminal matters is governed by thePoor Prisoners Defense Law of 1961. The judiciary maintains discretion, basedupon a means enquiry conducted by probation officers, to grant legal aid toindigent prisoners who face conviction for one of a series of scheduledoffenses.These include, for instance, murder, manslaughter, rape, carnal abuse, arsonand gun crimes but not theft or simple assault.
Should the court deem it appropriate, the judge will assigna private attorney, who receives a small state subsidy for his services, torepresent the defendant. Alternatively, two legal aid clinics exist, one inMontego Bay and one in Kingston, that will provide legal counsel forsubstantially reduced rates in both scheduled and non-scheduled criminaloffenses.
In 1997, the Jamaican parliament passed the Legal Aid Act of1997. The act has not yet entered into force, but when and if it isimplemented, it will change matters significantly, as it disposes of the ideaof providing legal aid solely for certain scheduled offenses. Instead, itprovides legal aid in criminal matters to "any person who is detained at apolice station or in a lockup [or] correctional institution," provided that anapplication for legal aid is made by or on behalf of the defendant. People whoare not in detention may also qualify for legal aid if "it appears to thecertifying authority... that the person's means are insufficient to enable himto obtain legal services."
The new act therefore expands the range of offenses to whichlegal aid in criminal matters applies. Additionally, the act would compelpolice, upon making an arrest, (1) to inform the accused of his or her basicrights, including the right to have access to legal counsel; (2) to makeavailable to defendants a roster of available attorneys; and (3) to facilitatethe initial contact between the defendant and an attorney.
Jamaica's 1993 Report to the U.N. Committee on the Rightsof the Child
As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of theChild, Jamaica must submit periodic reports to the U.N. Committee on the Rightsof Child that describe measures "adopted which give effect to the rightsrecognized [in the CRC]," as well as "progress made on the enjoyment of thoserights."
Following Jamaica's initial submission in 1993, thecommittee expressed concern regarding three principal areas affecting Jamaica'sdomestic implementation of the CRC. First, it noted that Jamaica's severesocial and economic problems have negatively affected the circumstances ofchildren by, for instance, drastically reducing social services.Second, it expressed concern that certain "social attitudes, traditions andprejudices" prevalent in Jamaica hampered the effective implementation of theconvention.
Perhaps most critically, the committee's report observedthat Jamaica lacks "an overall integrated mechanism to monitor the activitiesdesigned to promote and protect children's rights," leading to "insufficientcoordination between the various governmental departments, as well as betweencentral and regional authorities, in the implementation of the policies topromote and protect the rights of the child..."
While not exhaustive, the U.N. Committee's observationscapture several reasons why, despite Jamaica's express international legalobligations and domestic system of implementation, children continue to bedetained improperly in adult police lockups.
"Sometimes juveniles are very violent, more violent thanadults. So at times we have to keep them here."
- Superintendent Adams,Spanish Town Station.
"We try to treat [juveniles] well, but some of them don'tdeserve it."
- Inspector Broomfield,Gun Court Station
Human Rights Watch visited the police lockup at Spanish Townon August 25, 1998. The antiquated facility contains ten cells, each of whichmeasures ten by ten feet and is intended to hold five persons, for a totalstated capacity of fifty detainees. On the day of our visit, however, we wereinformed by Superintendent Adams, the officer in charge at Spanish Town, thatit held 138 detainees.
Conditions inside the Spanish Town cells were appalling.Tiny slats in the concrete wall towards the back of each cell provided the onlysource of light and fresh air. Detainees consequently suffered from a neartotal absence of light and ventilation, and the level of heat within the cellswas unbearable. Together with the severe overcrowding-cells designed for fiveheld thirteen or fourteen prisoners each-these conditions constitute blatantviolations of the U.N. and Beijing Rules.
Although some cells contained toilets, most of these werebroken, and prisoners told us that often guards refused to let them out to usethe filthy but functional toilets located at the end of the cell block.Consequently, detainees were often forced to urinate and defecate in bucketsinside the cells, or, in the absence of a bucket, to simply relieve themselveson the floor, exacerbating the already severely substandard sanitaryconditions.
The cell floors were filthy, often damp and covered withscattered bits of cardboard and newspaper, which served as the prisoners' onlybedding material. Apart from the two or three detainees able to lay claim tothe one or two concrete bunk slabs in each cell (none with mattresses or otherbedding), prisoners reported that they slept crowded together on the floors.Cockroaches and other insects infest the cells, and many prisoners displayedinsect bites.
The police provide medical treatment on an emergency basisonly. We interviewed one young man who suffered from chronic asthma, a boy whohad oozing sores on his legs and who wept as he spoke to us, and a third manwho complained of hearing loss and who had a greenish discharge coming from hisears. None of these individuals had been permitted to see a physician and nonehad been provided with medication.
The food in Spanish Town, by all accounts, is as poor andscarce as medical care or bedding: many detainees told us that the prison foodmade them ill, and other prisoners stated flatly that they eat only food thatis brought to them by their relatives and friends during visiting hours.
The overwhelming majority of the detainees held in theSpanish Town lockup were unconvicted "remand" prisoners who were awaitingtrial. Although some were accused of serious crimes, many were held onsuspicion of participation in relatively trivial offenses. Prisoners were notseparated by either age or status (convicted or unconvicted); and statusoffenders and those accused of petty crimes were held in the same cells as mendetained for violent crimes. Towards the front of the cell block, threeprisoners were held in isolation. According to a guard, they were in personaldanger from fellow prisoners,although these individuals told Human Rights Watch that they believed they hadbeen quarantined for contagious illness.
At times, the detainees told us, fights break out among theprisoners, typically over access to scarce material goods, such as cigarettes,food, and money, or over access to sleeping space on the filthy cell floors:overcrowding is so severe that in most cells not everyone can lie down at once.Violence between cellmates was also sometimes motivated by clashing loyaltiesto political parties, gangs, or neighborhoods. Both guards and detainees toldus that guards often resort to violence to break up fighting. Some detaineestold us that the police treated them "okay," while others exhibited wounds thatthey ascribed to unprovoked police violence.
The Spanish Town police lockup is officially for adultsonly. In our initial interview with superintendent Adams, he statedunequivocally that "[j]uveniles are not kept at Spanish Town,"but he also conceded that seven "juveniles" had recently been "processed" atSpanish Town and sent on to the Ewarton substation. Notwithstanding thesestatements, a categorization of the prisoners inscribed in chalk at theentrance to the cell block and dated August 25, 1998, indicated that tenjuveniles were detained at Spanish Town.
Our interviews at the Spanish Town lockup, though limited innumber by difficulties in speaking to children privately, confirmed thatchildren were held there, in violation of both Jamaican law and internationalstandards. We managed to speak to five seventeen-year-olds, two sixteen-yearolds, and one boy who was fifteen.
Winston, fifteen, had been detained forapproximately six months at the time of our visit, and was held in a cell witheleven adult prisoners.
Harold and Jason, the twosixteen-year-olds, had been detained for several months, and Harold exhibited alarge scar on his head that he said was the result of a recent police beatingwith batons.
Numerous adult prisoners also confirmed that it was notuncommon for fifteen and sixteen-year-olds to be held for several months at atime at Spanish Town.
On September 3, 1998, Human Rights Watch visited the policelockup at Kingston Central. The detainees had apparently been told that wewould visit, and many shouted to us from inside the cells, saying that theyneeded to talk to us and that conditions were poor.
According to Police Commissioner Francis Forbes, the cellsat Kingston Central are, like the cells at Spanish Town, for adults only. Butat Kingston Central, too, we found that this rule was honored only in thebreach. Upon arriving at Kingston Central, we spoke briefly with SuperintendentBailey and Inspector Cleary, a custody officer at the lockup. SuperintendentBailey informed us that in practice, Kingston Central usually has enoughchildren detained to warrant designating one of the facility's thirty-fourcells as a special "juvenile cell."
Of the thirty-four cells, only nine had functioning doorlocks at the time of our visit. Technically, three to seven prisoners occupyeach cell at Kingston Central, depending on the cell's size. But in practice,most prisoners roam freely throughout the hallway due to the defective locks.Kingston Central's maximum stated capacity is ninety-one; on the day wevisited, it held one hundred thirty-eight prisoners, of which one hundredthirty were held pending trial (remands), two were convicted, four wereapparently detained awaiting transfer elsewhere, and two, according to police,were juveniles. We were told that most of the juveniles had been transferredthe day before our visit, but their destination was not identified.Inspector Cleary remarked that, in general, the number of children detained atKingston Central is typically under ten at any given moment, and their stay isusually of short duration, but he conceded that "sometimes juveniles stay fortwo to three months."
Conditions within the cellblock were deplorable. At theentrance to the cell block's main gate, a large bin overflowed with trash, andthe stench of rotting garbage and urine permeated the air. Two detainees, oneof whom was identified as a crack addict and the other as mentally disturbed,were sprawled out on filthy stairs that led up to the second floor of thecellblock, where the cell designated for juveniles was situated.
By contrast to the first floor cells, the "juvenile cell"was comparatively clean: though damp, it contained no trash or sewage.It contained six concrete slab beds. At the time of our visit, two children,both aged sixteen, were in this cell, together with eleven adults ranging inage from eighteen to twenty-four.
Travis,one of the sixteen-year-olds,had been detained since late June 1998. His initial court date was set forAugust 14, but he was remanded pending a further hearing because thecomplainant failed to appear.
Ryan,the other sixteen-year-old, hadbeen held for nine months. Although he had appeared at the family court threetimes during this period, he told us that was never provided with a lawyer, andhad been remanded back to the lockup after each court appearance.
Both boys related that the guards serve two meals each daybut complained that food is often not cooked properly; like most prisoners,they told us that they rely on visitors for adequate provisions. A hose at thefar end of the cellblock provided the only bathing facility, and it suffers,the boys said, from water shortages and inadequate pressure.
Outside the juvenile cell, prisoners roamed the cell blockfreely. All the detainees complained about the poor quality of the food, aswell as the severe overcrowding, which compels many to sleep on the filthy,roach-infested cell floors. Several interviewees also objected that they hadbeen denied permission to see a doctor. Jefferson, an eighteen-year-old boy,stated that "[p]eople here need to see a doctor, but they don't make them seeone because they have no money."
One constable we spoke with said that although a doctorshould visit regularly, this rarely happens. Prisoners at Kingston Central,like those detained at Spanish Town, appear to receive medical care only in thecase of emergencies, at which time they will be taken to a hospital.
Although only two sixteen-year-olds were held at the time ofour visit (the remainder having been transferred the previous day), severaladult prisoners confirmed seeing other children held atKingston Central. Oneadult prisoner, Clive Dawes, related a particularly disturbing incident that heclaimed had occurred on the night preceding our visit. Tajay Brown, asixteen-year-old, had been severely beaten by the police:
[T]hem beat the little man, the juvenile, them beathim and kick his head, them kick him into gate and step on him throat...[T]hemcarry him gone from [here] last night... Inspector Robbie, him there, but himsay nothing.
Thomas, anineteen-year-old detainee who had been remanded four times during his twomonths at Kingston Central, said that he had observed an eleven-year-old boywho was detained for approximately two weeks.
Halfway Tree, a lockup notorious for poor sanitaryconditions, was visited by a Human Rights Watch research team in 1994. The 1994team found filthy and overcrowded conditions, and also found that the HalfwayTree lockup was used to detain numerous children, some as young as ten.
On our visit to Jamaica, however, we were unable to visitthe cells or speak to any detainees at the Halfway Tree lockup. Although PoliceCommissioner Forbes had urged us to visit Halfway Tree and had promised toarrange our visit, we were told upon our arrival at the facility that we wouldnot be permitted to enter, "since no juveniles [were] held at Halfway Tree."
It seems likely that conditions at Halfway Tree are nobetter now than they were in 1994, although our inability to tour the cellsmakes it impossible for us to say for certain. Commissioner Forbes himselfdescribed the stench emanating from the Halfway Tree lockups as severe enoughto make it difficult for visitors to breathe. It was of course impossible forus to ascertain whether or not any children were held at Halfway Tree on theday of our abortive attempt to visit, but several children we interviewedlater, in facilities run by the Department of Children's Services, told us thatthey had spent time in the Halfway Tree lockups within the past two years.
The Gun Court police lockup in Kingston lies adjacent to thecourt building in which, as its name suggests, gun-related crimes are tried.Human Rights Watch visited the Gun Court facility on the afternoon of September2, 1998.
Upon arriving, we were met by Inspector Broomfield, whom weinterviewed briefly. Asked about the circumstances of juveniles in the GunCourt, he replied, "[W]e try to treat them well, but some of them don't deserveit."Inspector Broomfield introduced us to Inspector Smith, who oversees the lockup,and he informed us that seventy detainees were currently held at the Gun Courtlockup but that we could not enter the cellblock itself "because of thepotential for prejudicing those who would be going before an ID parade."The Human Rights Watch team could not privately interview any of the childrenheld at Gun Court, although they met with a number of eighteen andnineteen-year-old detainees in a small office next to the cell block. Althoughthe windows and door remained open and a police constable was stationed outsidethe open door, limited discussions were possible concerning basic conditionswithin Gun Court lockup.
Descriptions of conditions within the Gun Court lockupsuggest that they substantially resemble the appalling conditions we found atSpanish Town.
Ernest, an eighteen-year-old boy, toldus that he had been detained for three months in a five by ten foot cell withfour other adults. He complained of the absence of floor space for sleeping anddescribed being kicked in the eye by a guard on one occasion, which, he said,caused a gash over his eye that appeared to be infected.
Marlon,another eighteen-year-old, hadbeen transferred to the Gun Court from Hunt's Bay lockup on March 15, 1998,after a court appearance. He told us that he shared his five by ten foot cellwith six other adults. Like Ernest, he complained of the severe overcrowdingand of being forced to sleep on the filthy floor. He also stated that staffprovide only one meal a day, typically a mixture of rice and chicken, but that"you can't really eat it because it makes you sick."Marlon affirmed that fist fights among the prisoners are not uncommon and thatthe constables often break up these fights with their batons. He describedbeing beaten by the police on several occasions. One time, he recalled, afterbeing refused permission to leave his cell to use the bathroom, his angerprovoked four constables to beat him with their batons, causing him a headinjury and nose bleed.
John,a 19-year old, had also beentransferred from the Hunt's Bay lockup to the Gun Court Lockup. He told us thathe had requested the transfer, because conditions in Hunt's Bay wereparticularly appalling: the heat and lack of water there made life unbearable.He described his treatment at the Gun Court in similar terms: "[The police]treat us like a dog. When we want to use the bathroom, we have to beg, andsometimes even then they ignore us. Some of the guards have human feelings, butothers have none at all."John said that detainees are not permitted to write or receive letters, butthat detainees sometimes succeed in smuggling letters in and out duringvisiting hours.
Inspector Smith's list of detainees listed no detaineesunder the age of seventeen. Several of our sources suggested, however, that thedetention of younger boys at the Gun Court is not uncommon. Since we were notpermitted to visit the cells themselves, Human Rights Watch was unable toconfirm the presence of children within the Gun Court.
Both Jamaican law and international standards state thatdetained children must be separated from adult prisoners.According to Police Commissioner Forbes, the Jamaican police have struggled toenforce this policy.Because few, if any, existing police lockups have appropriate facilities foreffectively separating adult and child detainees, the Jamaican police haveresorted, in some instances, to utilizing small police sub-stations-with one ortwo cells-as de facto"juvenile police lockups"where only childrenare detained.
We visited two"juvenile police lockups," Ewerton andMatilda's Corner. The physical conditions at these lockups-in terms of space,ventilation, sleeping materials, and sanitation-were as bad, and in some wayseven worse than the conditions in most of the adult lockups that we visited.Moreover, in neither "juvenile lockup" did the children have the opportunity toexercise or continue their education. Many children in these lockups complainedthat they were not even regularly fed.
Ewarton Police Station and Juvenile Lockup
At the Spanish Town Police Station in St. Catherine-NorthParish, Superintendent Adams explained that children who are picked up bypolice in this area are usually moved to Ewarton Police Station, some fifteenmiles north of Spanish Town.Adams told us that children may be detained at Ewarton for six to twelve monthsawaiting trial (for those children charged with an offense) or relocation to aplace of safety (for those children "in need of care and protection").When the Human Rights Watch team visited Ewarton, we discovered that almost allof the children, including those in need of care and protection, had spentseveral months in the lockup, in violation of Jamaican law.Under international standards, children in detention should have access toclean sleeping accommodations and sanitary facilities adequate to their healthand privacy needs.During the Human Rights Watch visit to Ewarton, we found seven children, agedthirteen to sixteen years, locked up in two cells with dimensions ofapproximately eight by five feet. There were no mattresses, cots, or ledges forthe children to sleep on. Instead, the children rested on pieces of cardboardand newspaper soaked in water from a leaking shower across the passageway. Thefloor was sodden, and the children themselves were damp, as there were no dryplaces to sit or lie down. The shower and toilet were completely open to thetwo cells, and afforded the children no privacy to bathe or use the toilet.From our discussion with the children and the police officers at Ewarton, welearned that the children were not permitted to leave the cells for exercise,nor did they have any access to educational materials in the dimly lit cells.Those children whose families had been contacted were able to receive visitorstwo times per week. According to the U.N. Rules for the Protection of JuvenilesDeprived of Their Liberty, children in police custody must be provided witheducation, preferably at an institution away from the detention facility,medical treatment, and a physical environment with adequate provision forrecreation and exercise.
The boys held at Ewarton were charged with various offenses,from serious crimes to petty theft. Some were held because they were in need ofcare and protection. Although there were two cells, the police at Ewarton madeno effort to separate the children according to age or severity of offense.None of the boys knew whether they had an attorney. Two had been detained foronly a week, while the others had been detained for several months.
Lane,a very small thirteen-year-oldboy, had already spent eight months at Ewarton at the time of our visit. He hadbeen arrested initially for stealing a radio. Before being picked up by thepolice, he was staying with his grandmother because his father had abandonedhim and his mother had emigrated from Jamaica. Lane seemed so depressed that hecould barely bring himself to speak; he told us that he did not get enough toeat and that the police "slam doors on you" when he asked them questions. Hetold us that in his eight months at Ewarton, he had never left his cell exceptto go to court. When a Human Rights Watch interviewer asked Lane what he wouldchange at Ewarton, if he were in charge, Lane simply shrugged, and, lookingdown at the soggy newspaper that constituted his blanket, replied, "You can't changeanything here." Later, after a pause of nearly a minute, he said, "I wish therewas a bathroom. And a dry place to sleep."
Godfrey,aged sixteen, had been inEwarton for four months when we met him. Godfrey had no lawyer to representhim, but had appeared in court several times since being picked up by thepolice. A police officer explained to us that Godfrey's case was stalled in theFamily Court because his accuser never showed up to testify against him.Godfrey told us that he and the other boys would stack up the cardboard andnewspaper on the floors to try to keep rats out of their cells, and that atnight, they would stuff balled up bits of paper into their ears to try to keepants and roaches from crawling into their ears as they slept.
William, fifteen, shared Godfrey'scell. William has been in Ewarton for three months at the time of our visit. Hecomplained of an earache, but said like Lane that the guards justslam the celldoor in his face when he asks if he can see a doctor. Sergeant Mullins, whoescorted the Human Rights Watch team to Ewarton, explained that there were nomedical facilities for the boys here.
Matilda's Corner Police Station and Juvenile Lockup
When the Human Rights Watch team visited the police lockupat Half-Way Tree Police Station in Kingston, the senior police officer present,Deputy Superintendent Lawrence, asserted that no juveniles were kept inHalf-Way Tree.After thirty minutes of discussion, Deputy Superintendent Lawrence and DeputyCommissioner Fairclough (by telephone) denied us access to Half-Way Treelockup. Lawrence insisted that all of the children brought to Half-Way Treewere transferred to a nearby police sub-station called Matilda's Corner, whichwas being used as a "juvenile lockup"-similar to Ewarton police lockup.Lawrence informed us that seven children were currently detained at Matilda'sCorner.
The team proceeded to Matilda's Corner where we wereinformed by Sergeant MacIntosh that all seven of the children detained atMatilda's Corner had been taken to Family Court shortly before our arrival thatmorning.Although there were no children in the lockup, Sergeant MacIntosh permitted usto inspect the one cell in which he said the seven children had been held untilthat morning. The cell was approximately five feet by ten feet with twoconcrete ledges against the walls. Even with the cell door wide open, the roomwas dark, with no windows and only dim light coming through some small holes inthe concrete walls. The cell smelled of urine and feces and the floor was wet.
We asked to see the toilet facilities and were pointed to atoilet and shower in a separate outhouse near the cell. The outhouse wasentirely out of use, and we had to make our way past a row of broken-downmotorcycles and bicycles to get to it. The toilet was overflowing withexcrement and the shower did not work.
Sergeant MacIntosh told us that because the toilet wasbroken, the children urinate in the cell and the police put a hose through acrack in the wall to hose down the floor and the children. When asked about thepractice of hosing down children in the cell rather than allowing them to leavethe cell to use the bathroom, MacIntosh commented: "it's hot in there, they[the children] like being hosed down."MacIntosh also explained that children were not allowed to leave the cell forexercise during the day.
Sergeant MacIntosh told us that the seven children who hadbeen transferred shortly before we arrived ranged in age from twelve to sixteenyears old. Four of the boys were detained because their parents could not belocated, and a court decided that they were "in need of care and protection."The other three boys had been charged with various offenses.
The policy of moving children in police detention tojuvenile lockups suggests that the Jamaican police are concerned withseparating at least some children from adults in custody. While this policyseems well-intentioned, in practice, it has had an unfortunate secondaryconsequence-namely, that children are often detained in lockups characterizedby physical conditions as, if not more abhorrent than many adult lockups. Thisis so because the separate "juvenile lockups" are often located in small,geographically remote police stations, with resources even more meager than themore centrally located "adult lockups." The physical conditions in the juvenilelockups-including space, ventilation, sanitation, and lighting-were worse thananything the team witnessed in adult lockups. Juvenile lockups thus representan improvement insofar as they shield children from abuse at the hands of adultcellmates. But they have not ameliorated-indeed, they may inadvertentlyworsen-the egregious sanitary conditions in which children continue to be held.
Evidence About Other Police Lockups
In addition to speaking to some of the children held at thepolice lockups we visited, we also interviewed many children living ininstitutions run by the Jamaican Children's Services Division and by theCorrectional Services Department. Many of those children had been held inpolice lockups before being transferred to these other facilities. Theirstories of their time in the lockups confirmed our observations.
Garfield,age thirteen, told us thathis mother had turned him over to the police because she felt that he was adiscipline problem. The family court judge determined that Garfield was "inneed of care and protection." After a stint at the Sovereign Police Station inKingston, Garfield was transferred to Matilda's Corner. He spent almost twoweeks there. He told us that the police only allowed him drinking water once aday, and that he and the other boys in the lockup had to urinate in the cornerof the cell. The police, he said, occasionally hosed the cell down-and the boysalong with it-by sticking a hose through the small window. During his two weekstay at Matilda's Corner, Garfield was only allowed to leave his cell for onetrip to the Family Court.
Miles,thirteen, spent one night in theAugust Town police lockup. He told us that he was alone in the cell, which waswindowless and dark, with no toilet or shower. "The cell was filled with urine,and there was no bed, so I didn't sleep, I just stood on a piece of newspaper.I had no food, just a bun. The police were horrible. I'd call to ask them totake me to a toilet and they'd never come."
Kevin,who was sixteen when weinterviewed him, told us that he had been picked up by police in October 1997,when he was fifteen, and held at the Hunt's Bay police station, a few mileswest of Kingston. He told us that he spent two weeks at Hunt's Bay, where hisfive-by-eight-foot cell was shared by nine other detainees, most of whom wereadults.
Derek,a fifteen-year-old, was detainedin the Constant Spring lockup for two weeks. He told us that he was kept in a smallcell there with nine other prisoners, all adults. The benches for sleeping wereinadequate for the number of people in each cell, so three of the bigger, oldermen slept on the concrete bunks, while Derek and the others prisoners slept onthe concrete floor, using old newspapers for bedding. There was a toilet in thecell, but it did not work, and the cell was constantly filthy.
Delroy,who was seventeen when we methim, told us of the three months he spent at the Hunt's Bay Lockup. Hedescribed his cell as "hot, nasty, and dirty." Eight prisoners, some of whomwere children, shared a five-by-ten-foot cell. The cell had three concretebunks. Two prisoners slept on each bunk, and the two others slept on theground, which was covered with dirty newspaper. At Hunt's Bay, Delroy said,prisoners had no access to working toilets. Consequently, they had to defecateinto paper bags and then toss the bags into the passage between the cells.Periodically, guards would let the prisoners into the passage to clean up. "We[would] catch a lot of disease down there," Delroy told us. He said that hebecame quite ill while detained at Hunt's Bay but that the police would nottake him to a doctor.
Patrick,a twelve-year-old who hadinitially been detained at Matilda's Corner, told us that the police there onlygave him bread and tea to eat, so he was always hungry.
Richard,thirteen, spent two weeks in acell at the Hanover police station. His cellmates were three other boys. "Theylocked me in a dark cell. They gave us tea and bread, but that was all, and itwas not enough, and not fresh. There were no windows, and we stayed in the cellall day. It had no toilet. The police were mostly easy on us because we wereyoung, but if we called out too much they got rough."
Steve, fifteen, spent a month at theSpanish Town lockup. He was in a cell with adults. He told us that the foodrations were usually spoiled and that the police beat him up when hecomplained.
David,thirteen, was left alone whenhis mother went to jail. The police picked him up because he was begging on thecampus of the university in Kingston. He told us that the police were "rough":when he said he did not want to go with them they grabbed him by the throat. Hewas put in a police lockup for three days "in a room with kids and big men whowere scary." He was given soup once a day, but said it was not enough to eat.
Michael,a fifteen-year-old boy whosefather was unable to care for him and whose mother had disappeared, wasdetained at the Point Hill lockup after he was accused of stealing hisguardian's money. He stayed at that lockup for two weeks. During that time, hewas given food only every two days, used a bucket as a toilet, and slept on thefloor of his cell.
Charmaine,a thirteen-year-old girl,was taken from home by the police, along with her younger siblings, ages sixand seven. She told us that she did not understand why she and her siblings hadbeen taken from home. They were held for twenty-four hours at a Granvillepolice station, where they slept on a bench in the office and were given nofood.
Dennis,sixteen, reported that he spentthree months in a cell with adults at the Annatto Bay lockup. "There were tenof us in a small cell. There was only grill ventilation and not much light,just one light bulb out in the passage. We had no bedding, and slept on theconcrete. We had bread given to us three times a day. No school, no books.There were four cells, and six police officers to guard them. Sometimes thepolice would fight with prisoners. I had sinus problems, but they wouldn't letme see a doctor. The worst things were that it was dirty and there was notenough to eat, just bread. The police would take things away from you, too, ifyou had anything visitors brought you."
The Convention on the Rights of the Childand the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of theirLibertyrequire that any facility used to detain children must conform to certainminimum health standards and assure children adequate health care, "bothpreventive and remedial."Needless to say, detention of Jamaican children in filthy conditions in policelockups violates the children's rights. Such police lockups also constitute amajor public health danger.
During our visits to lockups, almost all of which were incrowded metropolitan areas, we repeatedly found that there were no functionaltoilets or showers, and the stench in the lockups was overwhelming. Overcrowdedcells, particularly when combined with a lack of basic sanitation, are abreeding ground for contagious diseases via both fecal-oral contact andairborne routes. Conditions in police lockups pose a public health risk to thedetainees, as well as to the police who guard them, and potentially to thepeople in surrounding areas.
Just as egregiously, in the midst of such appallingconditions and the clear medical risk they present, children and otherdetainees told us that they were denied access to medical care. The lack ofbasic medical care was confirmed by our interviews with guards in the lockups,who told us that prisoners saw doctors only on rare occasions.
Similarly, our interviews suggested that many detaineesreceived inadequate food and drinking water. Indeed, most children who receivedmeals got them once a day and even then, some only received biscuits and tea.Often, the children relied on food taken to them by relatives. This violatesthe requirement that inmates be provided sufficient food and safe drinkingwater as set forth in the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment ofPrisoners.
The children we met were locked in sweltering, poorlyventilated cells all day, generally with little room for moving around freely,given the overcrowded conditions. Yet few children reported being permitted towalk around the passageway of the lockups, let alone go outside for fresh airand exercise. This is in violation of international standards which entitleschildren in detention facilities to "daily free exercise" and to an environmentwhich allows for physical exercise.
The U.N. Rules explicitly give detained children the rightto education and vocational training.But all of the children we met reported receiving no education at all duringtheir time in the lockups, not even a book, even when their detention lastedfor months on end. The few children we met who had books-mostly religioustracts and Bibles-told us that the books had been brought by their relatives.
Jamaican children held in police lockups are deprived oftheir most basic human rights. They are held for long periods-often manymonths-in overcrowded, filthy cells in life-threatening conditions. Theyreceive inadequate food, and spend twenty-four hours breathing in sweltering,fetid air. Although the children are often being held for petty offenses orbecause they are neglected or abused and are awaiting proper placement, theyare often kept in cells with violent adult offenders, and they are at risk ofbeing preyed upon by both older prisoners and by abusive police guards. Theyrarely have attorneys to represent them, and they are caught up in adysfunctional court system that abandons them in lockups simply because thelegal process is slow and the system does not know what else to do with them.
At the suggestion of Police Commissioner Forbes, we visitedthe Portmore Police Station's new lockup to examine a facility that Forbes seesas modern and humane in a way the older police lockups are not.The Portmore facility was still in the final stages of construction when wevisited, and no detainees were present. Nonetheless, it was clear thatconditions at the Portmore lockup could represent a vast improvement over thosewe saw at Spanish Town, Ewarton, the Gun Court, Matilda's Corner, and KingstonCentral. Three separate cell blocks-intended to hold, respectively, forty men,fifteen women, and ten children-extended in a T-shaped figure from a centrallylocated, elevated guard post, constructed to permit security officerssimultaneous supervision of the detainees in each corridor. The cells wereequipped with sliding doors with tamper-proof locks and slatted windows thatprovided reasonable ventilation. Each also contained tamper-proof running waterand toilet facilities, as well as five concrete bunks, one for each prisoner.
Moreover, three additional separate cells had beendesignated expressly for (1) sick prisoners who might require quarantine; (2)prisoners who might need to be isolated for violence or disciplinary problems;and (3) prisoners in transit who would be held for a very short period of time(under twenty-four hours). The facility was additionally equipped with glasscommunication booths, permitting detainees to converse with counsel, relatives,or friends through telephones on either side of the glass. Outside the cells afenced courtyard provided a secure space for exercise. Superintendent McDonald,who oversees the Portmore facility, informed us that a doctor's office would beconstructed on the premises and that a physician would visit at least once eachweek.
Portmore, at least in terms of the physical plant,represents an improvement. Human Rights Watch could not evaluate itseffectiveness in practice, since the lockup was not in use. Nonetheless, somepreliminary observations bear emphasis. First, the construction of facilitieslike Portmore (we were informed that a similar lockup was currently undergoingconstruction in Montego Bay)represents a step towards greater compliance with international human rightsstandards for detainees. Portmore potentially offers better ventilation, thecapacity to separate different classes of prisoners (though Portmore, too, wasnot designed to segregate prisoners by status), and an area for exercise andmodern sanitary facilities.
Yet at the same time, Superintendent McDonald, who overseesPortmore, remarked that "[t]his lockup was built with prisoners and juvenilesin mind,"a statement in some tension with Commissioner Forbes' assurance that the policehave ceased to detain children in police lockups. It appears, in short, thatnew facilities like Portmore, while clearly reflecting an improvement in lockupconditions, are being constructed under the assumption that childrenwillcontinue to be held at policelockups.
Intentional Police Abuse
If a kid knows he'll get twenty strops on his buttocks, it'sa deterrent. I believe in the scripture: don't spare the rod, or you spoil thechild.
- Neville Webb, JamaicaUnion of Correctional Officers
"We have overcrowding [in lockups] because we have to keepall these unconvicted prisoners. That's when you get atrocities..."
- Francis Forbes,Commissioner of Police
During our interviews with children in different parts ofthe system, the Human Rights Watch team commonly heard stories of low-levelabuseand neglect and several accounts of serious physical and sexual abuse by police.Compounding this problem, when incidents of police abuse occur, neither thepolice nor other agencies responsible for children appear capable ofdiscovering the abuse, treating the abused child, or disciplining the guiltyofficer.
Physical and Sexual Abuse
Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, statesparty are required to "take all appropriate legislative, administrative, socialand educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical ormental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatmentor exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legalguardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child."
Notwithstanding the declared commitments to reform of theleadership of the Jamaican police, the Human Rights Watch team heard of onerecent instance of sexual abuse and several incidents of other types ofphysical abuse.
Julia, fifteen, was interviewed in atemporary home run by the Children's Services Division. She told us that shehad left home because her father beat her and cut her with a machete. Shestayed briefly with her aunt but was beaten with an electrical cord by heraunt's boyfriend. When she ran away from her aunt's home, Julia was picked upby the police and brought to the local police station as a child "in need ofcare and protection." Because the cells in the local police lockup were filledwith adult men, Julia was forced to sleep on the concrete floor in thepassageway between cells. During her second night in the lockup, she said, apolice officer came to her and asked her age. When she told him, he asked ifshe had ever had sex. She said no and said that he tied her down with a beltand forcibly had sex with her and beat her.
Julia's story demonstrates powerfully the danger ofdetaining children in police lockups-evenfor "a couple of days." When we interviewed Julia one week after the incidentshe was experiencing lower abdominal pain and a burning sensation when sheurinated. She told us that she had not told anyone about being raped. Nor hadshe received any medical attention. When asked why she had not told anyone ofthe rape, Julia expressed fear that the staff would tell the other children atthe place of safety and that she would become an outcast. While Julia wasreluctant to discuss the rape with staff at Glenhope, she also informed HumanRights Watch that no one had asked her about her stay in police custody.Although this was the only account we heard of sexual abuse by the Jamaicanpolice, accounts of physical abuse were common. Many of the boys we spoke withduring visits to places of safety and the Juvenile Remand Center also reportedinstances of physical abuse by the police.
Warren, a sixteen-year-old whom weinterviewed at the Homestead Place of Safety, recalled abuse by police duringhis two week stay in Point Hill Police Station.Warren left his parents' home after problems with his father, and went to staywith friends of his parents. After some time there, he was accused of stealingmoney from the house and brought to the police station. Warren told us that thepolice beat him with an electrical cord, both in his cell and in the guardroom. According to Warren, the police beat him in order to get him to confessto stealing the money.
Joseph, a sixteen-year-old we met atthe juvenile remand center, described police abuse during his stay in Hunt'sBay police lockup. Joseph was picked up by the police when he was fifteen forgun possession. He spent two weeks in Hunt's Bay lockup and described beingbeaten by three or four policemen at a time. He told us that he was beaten sobadly that his foot was broken.
Several other boys also told us about being beaten bythe police with batons and sticks during their stays in police lockups.
Neglect, Rough Treatment, Mental Abuse
In addition to these reports of serious sexual and physicalabuse, the majority of the children interviewed by Human Rights Watch reportedrough treatment in police custody, ranging from neglect to mental abuse. Duringour visit to the Gun Court Police Station, Inspector Broomfield commented onthe treatment of children in custody by police. He said, "We try to treat themwell but they don't deserve it."This comment seemed to capture the attitude of many police that we interviewed.The Jamaican police appear to view the children in their custody as criminalsfirst and foremost-and as children only secondarily.
While inadequate resources and poor facilities may partiallyexplain the appalling conditions that children face in police lockups, policeattitudes toward juveniles in their custody also provide part of the answer.From our interviews with juveniles and police, it is clear that children inpolice custody are deprived of adequate water, restricted in their use of thetoilet and shower, denied any exercise, and, in some instances, forced to stayin cells with adults. In one instance, referred to briefly above, a Jamaicanpolice officer at Matilda's Corner explained why it was necessary to havechildren urinate in their cells and hose them down through a hole in the wallrather than taking them outside of the cell to use the toilet. He said: "Wecan't allow them outside. These children are dangerous and they might escape."
This statement reflects an attitude that seemed to be nearlyubiquitous among lower-ranking police officials: to most of the police,children are assumed guilty-and dangerous-until proven innocent, and they aretreated as violent felons regardless of their age and regardless of whetherthey are held for an offense or for their own protection.
In none of the adult lockups that we visited during our stayin Jamaica were adult detainees denied all access to the toilets (although inmost lockups access to toilets was unjustifiably limited). Yet at Matilda'sCorner, where five of the seven children detained had not even been chargedwith a criminal offense, the policeofficer in charge forced the children tourinate in their own cells rather than permitting them to leave the cell and goto the toilet ten feet away. The degree of squalor and humiliation detainedchildren must endure seems calculated to erode their sense of dignity andself-worth, while inevitably proving injurious to their physical and mentalhealth.
Inadequate Responses to Police Abuse
Based upon the Human Rights Watch team's interviews, otherJamaican agencies dealing with children who have spent time in police lockupsfrequently fail to identify instances of police abuse and are therefore unableto provide an abused child with proper care. None of the places of safety thatwe visited had a formal intake interview for new children. While the policefrequently bring children to places of safety, few of the staff in these homesseem to ask the children about their treatment in police custody. Even wheninstances of police abuse are uncovered, a child may wait several days beforereceiving medical attention. The team encountered a similar situation in theJuvenile Remand Center.
When police abuse occurs, institutional responses areinadequate. The Jamaican police have an Office of Professional Responsibilitywhich handles civilian complaints, yet several local human rights observerscomplained that this was an ineffective mechanism for dealing with policeabuse. One source observed that there is a conflict of interest in having abranch of the police investigating other police. When there are investigationsinto abuses, they are frequently delayed for years and send unclear messages tothose police guilty of abuses.
V.CHILDREN INOTHER STATE-APPROVED INSTITUTIONS
Children's Services Institutions
The Children's Services Division is a central governmentagency which operates under the Juveniles Act of 1951. The agency isresponsible for children who are in need of care and protection, who havecommitted an offense, or who are deemed uncontrollable but who have not beenabandoned.
The agency's program activities involve admitting children,court proceedings, institutions, foster care, and home supervision. Parents orguardians seeking assistance can meet with a Children's Officer; there is oneChildren's Officer per parish. For children in need of care and protection, thesocial worker prepares a report on the child's living situation and presents itto the court. The child may then be given a home supervision order or a"fit-person" order.A home supervision order allows the child to go home under the supervision of aprobation officer. A fit-person order places the child in a temporaryinstitution pending the court's decision on more permanent placement.
The Children's Services Division operates institutions thathouse children temporarily, or, more permanently, on a fit-person order. Inlaw, if not in practice, children are to be temporarily housed in places ofsafety pending an investigation of their case, or placement in a more permanentfacility, foster care, adoption, or home on a trial basis. "It is a fact,"however, "that children stay in places of safety for longer periods thanenvisioned in the law, because of placement problems," said Claudette Hemmings,Deputy Director of Institutions for the Children's Services Division.Children with disabilities and chronic illnesses are most difficult to place.
All the institutions run by the Children's Services Division(children's homes and places of safety) provide education to varying degrees.Children who are housed in places of safety are educated within the facility,which have specially trained teachers. Besides academics, children receivetraining in one or more crafts and skills: woodwork, agriculture, basketry,craft, home economics, and sewing lessons are offered by various institutions.Children who are housed in the more permanent children's homes may go to schoolin the community, and also participate in the aforementioned skills training.
The government provides the money for maintenance of theinstitutions, and officers in the Children's Services Division carry outregular inspections to ensure that institutions comply with governmentrequirements. There is no medical facility at any of the institutions, and nonehave resident physicians. However, public health personnel visit regularly toprovide immunizations, and physicians in the community sometimes also offervoluntary services. Ordinarily, a sick child must be taken outside the institutionfor medical care.
Human Rights Watch had the opportunity to visit two placesof safety and a children's home. In general these institutions were old, andclearly in need of simple refurbishment. They were reasonably clean, however,and the children appeared well cared for by the staff.
One major problem we noted was the reception or "intake"procedure in all of the institutions we visited. For the most part, facilitystaff made no effort to determine what had happened to the children in theweeks and months before they arrived at the facilities, and there was nostandard screening procedure to ascertain any physical or psychologicalconditions requiring immediate attention. At all of the facilities we visited,staff told us that they thought very few of the facility's children had spenttime in police lockups before their arrival, and seemed surprised to discover,after our interviews with children, how many children had been held by police.
Children in government institutions have often beenabandoned, neglected, and sexually, physically, and emotionally abused. Thesechildren should be thoroughly interviewed upon their arrival at governmentinstitutions. Because of the abusive situations from which most of the childrenhave come, it is essential that these children have an initial medical andpsychological screening and promptly receive any needed services.
In 1997, places of safety operated by the Children'sServices Division were operating only slightly over capacity.The most common reason the police gave Human Rights Watch for the detention ofchildren in lockups was a lack of space in places of safety, but Children'sServices officials rejected this explanation. Although there may be a lack ofspace in individual facilities especially for girls and babies, redistributionto other institutions, however remote, can alleviate the problem. "[The police]have never called us and not gotten a place for a child," said Mrs. Hemmings ofChildren's Services. All three facilities we visited were under capacity, andMrs. Hemmings assured Human Rights Watch that from Children's Services' pointof view, it would always be "preferable for a child to sleep on the floor ifthe facility is full rather than to sleep in a lockup."
Musgrave Children's Home
Musgrave Children's Home, situated in St. Andrew, is a homefor girls ages eight to eighteen. The facility has a maximum capacity of fiftyand had thirty occupants when Human Rights Watch visited.
The building is a former private residence built in the1950s and currently owned by the government. The main building is single levelwith slatted windows, and there is an open yard in front of the building. Thebuilding contains a multi-purpose area for dining, classroom activities andcounseling, and there is also a small room for sewing. The bedrooms, behind themain building, may be occupied by up to five children. The furniture was veryworn, but the bedrooms were clean, with well-made beds.
At the time of our visit, the girls in residence werebetween the ages of ten and eighteen, with the majority between thirteen andfifteen. All had been deemed "in need of care and protection." The typical daybegins with chores at 5 a.m. at the Musgrave Children's Home, followed bybreakfast, then school. In the afternoon, the girls complete their chores, havelunch and spend the remainder of the day on crafts and extracurricularactivities such as dancing and drama. The children have summer programs whenschool is on vacation. Many of the children have relatives who visit on Sundaysand whom they are allowed to visit during the holidays. The children aredisciplined by withdrawal of visiting privileges, deprivation of field trips,exclusion from treats, and additional chores. There are two housemothers whowork in shifts, so that a housemother is present twenty-four hours per day.
The cost of maintaining one child in this institution isJA$30,000 per month (approximately US$800). There are plans to improve theinstitution by refurbishment, and provide an area for skills training."Since the U.N. Convention [on the Rights of the Child] was ratified,there has been a difference in the government's attention to children,"said Mrs. Hemmings.According to facility staff, there has been strong community involvement in theMusgrave home, through church groups, social clubs, the Lay Magistrate'sAssociation, and sports organizations. There are also a Big Sister program andvolunteer teachers who assist with remedial work.
Some girls go through a transition program for a year afterthey leave, through a hostel operated by Women Inc., a program primarily forbattered women. "There are more success stories than people could everimagine," says Mrs. Davidson. She acknowledged, however, that there is nostandard policy of tracking what happens to girls after they leave.
The girls we interviewed at the Musgrave Children's Homeseemed reasonably happy with the environment and services provided by the homeand reported no problems with the staff. For the most part, the relations weobserved between children and staff seemed cheerful and informal.
Glenhope Place of Safety
The Glenhope Place of Safety for girls houses girls ageseight to eighteen. At the time Human Rights Watch visited this institution,most of the girls were between fourteen and sixteen. The facility has a maximumcapacity of ninety, and the occupancy at the time we visited was seventy-one.
Glenhope houses girls who are either "on remand," awaitingan appearance in family court, or are wards of the state, awaiting long-termplacement in a children's home. Most often the girls are victims of abuse orrunaways who are in need of care and protection. Very few have been chargedwith offenses, and those are usually crimes of petty larceny. Staff at Glenhopetold us that the children housed there are more frequently brought in directlyby police officers rather than by children's services. If the facility hasoccupancy levels above capacity, staff take the child and then transfer her toanother facility.The Head Office of the Children's Services Division is responsible for thetransfer of children from places of safety to children's homes.
Medical care at Glenhope is provided through a clinic in thecommunity, and a public health nurse visits every two months to administerimmunizations. Almost all the children at Glenhope attend school on thepremises. The small school focuses on remedial learning, since most of thegirls have had their education seriously disrupted before coming to Glenhope.The girls are also taught home economics and sewing. Staff told us thatproblems with discipline are infrequent. Infractions are addressed bywithdrawing privileges such as outings and by requiring girls who posediscipline problems to kneel in the staff office for a set time in isolationfrom the other girls.
There were seven to twelve cots in each of Glenhope'sbedrooms, and staff told us that the girls were segregated in bedrooms based onthe court order which led to their placement at Glenhope: that is, girls whowere awaiting placement with a court-appointed "fit-person" (which might mean,in practice, long-term placement in a children's home) were separated at nightfrom girls on remand.
The residential facilities at the Glenhope Place of Safetywere dark, with dilapidated furniture and dingy shower areas. Many of the sinksseemed broken. Most of the windows were cemented over-according to staff, thiswas necessary to prevent harassment of the girls by neighbourhood boys. Eachgirl had a locker for personal possessions, but most of the lockers were broken;staff told us they had been vandalized by the girls themselves. On the whole,the girls we spoke to seemed demoralized-more so than at the other Children'sServices facilities we visited-but we heard no reports of serious problems.
The Glenhope Nursery, a bright and cheerful building like aday-care center, houses children up to eight years old, the vast majority ofwhom are in need of care and protection. The facility has a capacity offorty-five, but it had fifty-four occupants when Human Rights Watchvisited.For education and recreation, books and audiovisual aids are available. Aplayground is also situated on the premises. According to staff, ninety percentof the children at the Glenhope nursery are eventually placed in foster homes,and ten percent return home to their parents.
Homestead Place of Safety
Human Rights Watch visited the Homestead Place of Safety forBoys on September 1, 1998. This is a Children's Services facility for boys ageseight to eighteen, many of whom are in need of care and protection. The maximumcapacity is approximately fifty. At the time we visited, forty-five boys werehoused there. Well-behaved boys from the juvenile remand center-which is run bythe Correctional Services department-are sometimes sent to Homestead to when overcrowding threatens theRemand Center.
Most of theboys at Homestead had been charged with petty offenses or no offense at all.Although there seem to be some exceptions, children who have been charged withserious crimesor who are associated with serious adult offenders aresent to the Remand Center rather than to Homestead. In theory, no child shouldstay at Homestead for more than ninety days, but staff told us that longerstays are not unusual, given the slowness of the legal and placement processes.Children have court appearances every thirty days, but the frequency of courtappearances does not, by most accounts, correspond to rapid case disposition.
Homestead staff told us that they have an informal intakeprocedure during which the children may relate their past experiences. Theparents, if available, also provide information. Only recently, staff told us,have they begun to keep files on all the boys. Staff complained that althougheach child should, in theory, arrive with a complete file from the police,court system, and Children's Services, the record-keeping processes are so poorand slow that often a particular boy is no longer in residence by the time hisfile arrives.
There are twenty-three people on the Homestead staff,including teachers, skill trainers, and a housemother. Most of the childrenattend school on the premises. They participate in academic classes (oftenremedial in nature), woodwork, agriculture, and physical education. There weremany citrus trees, banana trees, and vegetable gardens around the grounds,which are used to provide additional food for the children. The boys buildfurniture such as bunk beds in the woodwork area, and they are required to dochores such as cleaning and farming duties. During our visit, we saw somechildren who staff told us were mentally or physically challenged, but staffsaid that there are no special facilities at Homestead for these children withspecial needs.
There is no basic medical screening done during theHomestead intake procedure, and the facility insists on a medical certificateduring intake only if a child has a visible ailment. There are practical nursesat the facility, however. In cases of medical emergency, the children are takento a hospital.
A handwritten sign on the bulletin board in the mainentrance hall at Homestead told staff to"[d]esist from beating studentswith improper implement... " When we inquired about this, Superintendent AlbertStamp told us while corporal punishment is permitted at Homestead, he hadencountered some problems with staff members who failed to mete out suchpunishments in the approved fashion. When possible, he said, disciplinaryproblems are addressed by counseling, withdrawal of rewards, or specificadditional chores, with corporal punishment as a last resort."Basically I'm against corporal punishment," Stamp told us, "but there areyoungsters who will push a certain behavior... Because you are trying to findout which punishment will work, you say, let me try corporal punishment."
Devon,a fifteen-year-old boy,complained that the staff was abusive and told us that he had been beaten witha wrench.
Michael, another fifteen-year-old,reported being hit with a belt in the palms of his hand, but said that he didnot blame the staff member for doing this since he had done something wrong.
For the most part, the children we met at Homestead appearedwell cared for and reasonably satisfied with the staff and physical conditions.Homestead is a nonsecure facility, and children are not kept behind fences orlocked doors but can walk around more or less as they please.
In general, all of the facilities managed by the Children'sServices Division seemed to be adequate. While many of the children seemedunhappy and we heard some reports of rough treatment from staff, we heard noreports of serious abuse. In the physical facilities, while bare-bones, wereclean and not overcrowded.
"We need to come to a rude awakening that some of thesejuveniles are hardened."
-June Jarrett, Directorof Juvenile Institutions
The Department of Correctional Services is the governmentagency that is responsible for juvenile correctional centers. It is under thejurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and National Security. CorrectionalServices runs several facilities housing children ages twelve to seventeen whohave been found guilty of more serious offenses and repeat offenders who havebeen issued a correction order by the court. "Correction orders are a lastresort after other avenues have been explored," June Jarrett, an official ofthe Department of Correctional Services, told us.Although "remands" are not technically the responsibility of CorrectionalServices, Jarrett said, the department has assumed control of the St. AndrewJuvenile Remand Center.
Correctional Services operates three juvenile correctionalfacilities (two for boys and one for girls), in addition to the Remand Center,but we were unable to visit those facilities, which operate essentially aslong-term reform schools for juvenile offenders. Human Rights Watch was toldthat the St. Andrew Remand Center, which is for boys only, has a maximumcapacity of forty-eight, and staff told us that it always operates at maximumcapacity.(There is no remand center for girls, but girls accused of serious offenses aresometimes detained under correction orders at the Maxfield Park Girls' Home,which also functions as a place of safety and a children's home.) In 1997,there were 183 children in all four facilities, 178 of whom were males and 113of whom were children held under new correction orders.
The remand center and correctional facilities have perennialproblems in attracting and retaining qualified staff, according to the JamaicanUnion of Correctional Officers. In part, the problem is poor wages; NevilleWebb, Vice President of the Union of Correctional Officers, told us thatJamaican correctional officers are the lowest paid in the Caribbean.In 1997, the Department of Correctional Services contracted with privatesecurity firms to provide some guard services, in order to allow correctionalofficers to focus more on rehabilitation.However, the facilities that exist for rehabilitation are inadequate, Webbsays, and are not geared toward more serious offenders:
Youths are exposed to bad models and negative politicspredominates. The conditions and treatment in the institutions need to beupgraded, but lack of implementation is a major obstacle. The governmentbelieves that what exists for juveniles is sufficient.
St. Andrew Remand Center
The Remand Center takes boys who are being detained pendingtrial for more serious crimes and those awaiting placement in an approvedschool. However, Human Rights Watch spoke with several boys at the RemandCenter who had been remanded in that facility for minor crimes such as pettylarceny.
Mark, a thirteen-year-old boy, wasremanded into custody for stealing money from his mother. He was given acorrection order and at the time of our interview was awaiting placement at oneof the correctional facilities.
Paul,a thirteen-year-old boy, had beenremanded for three months-for throwing a stone at a woman-when we interviewedhim. Paul had initially entered the juvenile justice system after he ran awayfrom home. He was staying at the Copse Place of Safety but ran away. He waseventually returned there for a second stay, only to run away again. When HumanRights Watch interviewed Paul, he told us that he was afraid of someone athome, so he ran away. Nevertheless, he did not like being away from his mother,so he "hustled" on the street close to home.
Andrew, a fourteen-year-old boy who hasreceived awards at the remand center for good behavior and all-roundexcellence, had been remanded in custody for three months when we met him,after biting his sister.
Philip, a thirteen-year-old, was sentto the Remand Center by the family court "because he gives his mother trouble,"according to a remand center staff member. When we met him, he had been at St.Andrews for five months. He had a severely swollen eye and told us that abigger boy had beaten him.
On entry into the facility, boys go through an intakeprocedure, which includes documentation of the offense and the child's pastliving situation. The staff psychiatrist evaluates children, if the courtrequests it. The superintendent, a social worker, and a teacher also assesseach child, and may refer him for further psychiatric evaluation. The facilitymaintains case files for each child.There are three medical orderlies on the staff at the remand center, andchildren are also taken to nurses and doctors in the community as needed and tothe University Hospital of the West Indies on an emergency basis.
Children at the remand center take basic and remedialclasses. Although the Remand Center is hardly a substitute for the standardelementary school or high school education, many of the children interviewed byHuman Rights Watch told us they were pleased with the educational offerings atSt. Andrews, limited though they are, and especially pleased at the opportunityfor outdoor games such as soccer. The children receive awards on the basis ofacademic performance, performance in particular skills, and behavior.
In cases of major discipline problems, punitive measuresinclude isolation, withdrawal of privileges, and the assignment of additionalchores. Corporal punishment used to be practiced but was prohibited a year ago.The decision to prohibit corporal punishment was made by the administrativeauthorities within the Department of Correctional Services: "These arechildren, and the way you deal with adults, is different than the way you dealwith children...We are their parents in many cases," said June Jarrett.The prohibition on corporal punishment has been a source of frustration forsome correctional officers, who feel that corporal punishment is a criticaldeterrent.
Within the Remand Center, children are not separated on thebasis of their age or the severity of their offense, and several of thechildren we spoke with complained of physical and sexual abuse from other boys.
VI.THE SYSTEMAND HOW IT BREAKS DOWN
It's our policy that convicted persons shouldn't be in thesame cells as the unconvicted, that juveniles should not be in the same cellsas adults, that women should not be in the same cells as men, and that peoplecharged with major crimes shouldn't be kept with people charged with minorcrimes. That's our policy. The problem... is systems and structures.Unconvicted prisoners and juveniles should not be the responsibility of thepolice. It's giving the police a job for which they're not properly equipped.
- Francis Forbes,Commissioner of Police
The law is in place, but the practical realities do notconform with the requirements of the law. This is why the conditions remainpoor for juveniles in detention.
- Lloyd Barnett,Jamaican Council for Human Rights.
Governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizationsalike agree that inadequate resources and facilities contribute to the poorconditions Jamaican children face in detention. Because there is inadequatespace for both adult and juveniles in the existing remand centers, Jamaicanjudges order adults and children remanded to police lockups.
Francis Forbes, the Commissioner of Police, complained thatninety percent of the police lockup population are remand cases and that policeare not trained to handle remand prisoners, nor are the lockups designed tocope with large numbers of detainees for long periods.The police superintendents we interviewed at Spanish Town, Portmore, Gun Court,Half-Way Tree, Matilda's Corner, Ewarton, and Kingston-Central police stationsechoed the Commissioner's complaint. Many acknowledged that children-and adultprisoners, for that matter-were treated poorly, but blamed inadequate resourcesor poor facilities. For instance, Superintendent Adams at Spanish Town lockupcommented that keeping those awaiting trial in police custody is "a littleprejudicial" and told us that he wished that the remand cases could be transferredto proper correctional facilities.The capacity of Spanish Town lockup is fifty prisoners. On the day we visited,Superintendent Adams informed us that there were 138 people being held in thelockup.
While juvenile crime has increased dramatically in recentyears in Jamaica, the juvenile justice system has not grown adequately toaccommodate the added burden. There is only one juvenile remand center-St.Andrew's Juvenile Remand Center in Stoney Hill-with an official capacity offorty-eight.There is no remand facility for girls. And so far, the government seems to havedone little to experiment with noninstitutional alternatives for nonviolentyoung offenders.
The Department of Children's Services reported that thereare fourteen places of safety (ten government operated and four private) aroundthe island.Children's Services told us that the number of spaces available in these placesof safety is adequate,yet we met many children in police lockups because, police claim, there is noroom for them in the Kingston area places of safety. For those children whohave been convicted of an offense, there are three juvenile correctionalfacilities on the island (two for boys, one for girls) which are always at fullcapacity.
"While the Jamaican government policy [regarding juvenilejustice] is good, in practice the system doesn't work. The Jamaican juvenilejustice system suffers from stratified and fragmented systems and procedures."
-Afshan Kahn, UNICEFRepresentative
While the Jamaican police, the Department of Children'sServices, the Family and Juvenile Courts, and the Department of CorrectionalServices all bear significant legal responsibilities for children in detentionunder the Jamaican juvenile justice system, poor coordination and overlappingresponsibilities often result in what one former Children's Services employeedescribed as children "falling through the cracks of the system."
The result of these system failures is the chronicoverincarceration of children, both juvenile offenders and those in need ofcare and protection, and severe mistreatment of many children in policecustody.
Although police are required to contact the Department ofChildren's Services after taking a child into custody, in practice theyfrequently fail to do so. The police may choose to detain a child because theydo not have the resources (time, transport, telephone) to identify a place ofsafety and take the child there. For children charged with violent offenses,police are unlikely to find available space in the single juvenile remandcenter (capacity forty-eight). Moreover, an officer may find the only openspaces in a place of safety to be on another part of the island. In such cases,the police officer will likely detain the child in a police lockup.
The problems of resource scarcity are further aggravated atrural police stations, and children detained there are even less likely to betransferred to a place of safety. One human rights observer we spoke withcommented that the attitude of the child may affect the police officer'sdecision to detain him in a lockup or transfer him to a place of safety.Another suggested that detention in police lockups awaiting trial has become aform of punishment itself,in blatant violation of international standards for the treatment of pretrialdetainees.
While the Department of Children's Services is alsoauthorized under Jamaican law to transfer children to places of safety,it does not currently have the capacity to regularly monitor police lockups andis therefore unlikely to ameliorate this problem, since it only becomes awareof the presence of children in lockups if it is notified by the police.
When children are detained in police lockups, even for a fewdays, they are exposed to potential abuse and neglect. By the admission ofCommissioner Forbes, however, the police are not trained or equipped to handlelong-term remanded prisoners.Nor are the police trained to deal with children.
Moreover, because police do not consistently contact theDepartment of Children's Services when they take custody of a child, importantsocial services are not provided to the child until after his or her firstcourt date. Because a detained child has no children's officer until Children'sServices is involved, his family may not be aware of the child's condition, noris the child likely to have access to medical facilities if needed.
Perhaps most fundamentally, a child has no advocate while heis detained in police custody. The case of Lane, the thirteen-year-old boy whohad been detained for eight months in a Ewarton police lockup on a petty theftcharge, provides a graphic example of how children can be lost in the system.
Although a child's first court appearance should result inthe determination of the child's status, it is often not so in practice.Because Children's Services is often unaware of a child's presence in policecustody until the first court appearance, no Children's Officer is appointedbefore the first court date. As a result, the judge can render a decision withlimited information about the child or remand the child pending furtherinvestigation of his family situation. In practice, judges most frequentlychoose the latter.
It is here that facility shortages are critical. If thereare no places available in the juvenile remand center, a child will be remandedby the court to the police lockup. While observing a session of the KingstonFamily Court, the Human Rights Watch team encountered just such a problem. Afifteen-year-old was returned to Matilda's Corner police lockup by the judgebecause there was no space open in the remand center. As we watched, the judgetold the boy, "It's not right that young boys should be locked up. Whatever youhave done, we can't just give up on you. It's wrong. But there is nothing I cando-I have to send you back [to the lockup] until your trial."
Even when the child has been remanded to a place of safetyby the court, the juvenile justice system breaks down. None of the places ofsafety visited by Human Rights Watch had an adequate formal intake procedureconforming to international standards.Moreover, few superintendents of places of safety received regular reports fromchildren's officers. One official at a place of safety explained that theturnover of children is frequently so fast that he doesn't receive a reportabout the child until after the child has left the place of safety.
Without proper information about the child, the staff at theplace of safety has little chance of acting in the child's best interest-as thecase of the fifteen-year-old girl who told us she was raped by policeillustrates. Based upon our visits to four places of safety in the Kingstonarea,it also appears that children frequently remain in these facilities for longerthan the ninety day period that several officials mentioned as the maximum timefor which a child should remain detained.
Other elements which contribute to the failures of thecriminal justice system are the frequent postponement of trial dates forjuvenile offenders and court appearances in which the child's status is notresolved nor his case decided because of procedural delays. While the HumanRights Watch team observed that most children in detention had frequent courtappearances, judges commonly postponed the proceedings. As one Children'sServices official told us, "Juveniles in state facilities spend too much timein limbo, between court appearances, while the family situation is evaluated,or evidence is gathered. It takes too long for the court to issue a final order,and the child may be forced to stay in a police lockup or another facility forweeks or months."
While observing the proceedings of Kingston Family Court,the Human Rights Watch team witnessed evidence of this. Dwight, afifteen-year-old boy, appeared before the court on September 4, 1998. The casewas postponed because the Crown could not present its case; one of the keywitnesses for the prosecution was absent. Judges Soares, the presiding judge,noted that the trial had been delayed since May 1997 and complained that "thesedelays can not be fair and just." Notwithstanding the judge's concern forequity, Dwight was sent back to the police lockup at Matilda's Corner to waitfor his next court appearance.
Jamaican children in police lockups are truly "nobody'schildren." Whether they are accused of offenses or have been taken into policecustody because they are "in need of care and protection," they languish infilthy, overcrowded cells for weeks and months on end. They eat stale, rottenand inadequate food and sleep on damp concrete or urine-soaked bits ofnewspaper or cardboard, crammed in with other prisoners who are frequentlyadults accused of violent crimes. The children are rarely permitted out intothe fresh air, and receive no regular exercise, education, or health care. Attimes, they are physically abused by other prisoners or by the policethemselves. Meanwhile, Jamaican state agencies vie with one another to disclaimall responsibility for the children's plight.
It doesn't have to be this way: Substantial improvementscould be effected by improving coordination between government agencies toensure that children are not held in police lockups, by allocating resources tocreate and maintain institutions capable of responding appropriately to theplight of children in need of care and protection and to those children whocome into conflict with the law, and by, at a minimum, ensuring that, untilthese changes become reality, police lockups are made fit places for humanbeings to live. Not all of these measures can be realized overnight. But byinitiating change and encouraging state agencies to assume proactiveresponsibility for the plight of children, the Jamaican government could beginto comply with its obligations under international human rights law-and toprevent the needless suffering of so many children.
U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, G.A. Res. 44/25,annex, 44 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49), p. 167, U.N. Doc. A/44/49 (1989).
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principlesproclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherentdignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the humanfamily is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have,in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in thedignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote socialprogress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights,proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedomsset forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex,language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,property, birth or other status,
Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of HumanRights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to specialcare and assistance,
Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group ofsociety and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all itsmembers and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protectionand assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within thecommunity,
Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmoniousdevelopment of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment,in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,
Considering that the child should be fully prepared to livean individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the idealsproclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in thespirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,
Bearing in mind that the need to extend particular care tothe child has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Childof 1924 and in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by theGeneral Assembly on 20 November 1959 and recognized in the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil andPolitical Rights (in particular in articles 23 and 24), in the InternationalCovenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10)and in the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies andinternational organizations concerned with the welfare of children, '
Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of theRights of the Child,"the child, by reason of his physical and mentalimmaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection,before as well as after birth",
Recalling the provisions of the Declaration on Social andLegal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, withSpecial Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally andInternationally; the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for theAdministration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules); and the Declaration onthe Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict,
Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there arechildren living in exceptionally difficult conditions, and that such childrenneed special consideration,
Taking due account of the importance of the traditions andcultural values of each people for the protection and harmonious development ofthe child,
Recognizing the importance of international co-operation forimproving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular inthe developing countries,
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of the present Convention, a child meansevery human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the lawapplicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
1.States Partiesshall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to eachchild within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind,irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race,colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnicor social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
2.States Partiesshall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protectedagainst all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status,activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's parents, legalguardians, or family members.
1.In all actionsconcerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfareinstitutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies,the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
2.States Partiesundertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for hisor her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or herparents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him orher, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative andadministrative measures.
3.States Partiesshall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for thecare or protection of children shall conform with the standards established bycompetent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in thenumber and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.
States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative,administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the rightsrecognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social andcultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximumextent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework ofinternational co-operation.
States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rightsand duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended familyor community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other personslegally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with theevolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in theexercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.
1.States Partiesrecognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
2.States Partiesshall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of thechild.
1.The childshall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birthto a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, theright to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
2.States Partiesshall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with theirnational law and their obligations under the relevant international instrumentsin this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.
1.States Partiesundertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity,including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law withoutunlawful interference.
2.Where a childis illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity,States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a viewto re-establishing speedily his or her identity.
1.States Partiesshall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parentsagainst their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicialreview determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that suchseparation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determinationmay be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect ofthe child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and adecision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
2.In anyproceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interestedparties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings andmake their views known.
3.States Partiesshall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parentsto maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on aregular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.
4.Where suchseparation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as thedetention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arisingfrom any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or bothparents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide theparents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with theessential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of thefamily unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to thewell-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that thesubmission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences forthe person(s) concerned.
1.In accordancewith the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1,applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Partyfor the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Partiesin a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties shall furtherensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverseconsequences for the applicants and for the members of their family.
2.A child whoseparents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on aregular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and directcontacts with both parents. Towards that end and in accordance with theobligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, States Parties shallrespect the right of the child and his or her parents to leave any country,including their own, and to enter their own country. The right to leave anycountry shall be subject only to such restrictions as are prescribed by law andwhich are necessary to protect the national security, public order (ordrepublic), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and areconsistent with the other rights recognized in the present Convention.
1.States Partiesshall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of childrenabroad.
2.To this end,States Parties shall promote the conclusion of bilateral or multilateralagreements or accession to existing agreements.
1.States Partiesshall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views theright to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, theviews of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age andmaturity of the child.
2.For this purpose,the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in anyjudicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly,or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent withthe procedural rules of national law.
1.The childshall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedomto seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless offrontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, orthrough any other media of the child's choice.
2.The exerciseof this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only besuch as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a)For respect ofthe rights or reputations of others; or
(b)For theprotection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of publichealth or morals.
1.States Partiesshall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience andreligion.
2.States Partiesshall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legalguardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or herright in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.
3.Freedom tomanifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations asare prescribed by law and are necessary to protectpublic safety, order, healthor morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
1.States Partiesrecognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom ofpeaceful assembly.
2.Norestrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than thoseimposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democraticsociety in the interests of national security or public safety, public order(ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection ofthe rights and freedoms of others.
1.No child shallbe subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy,family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honourand reputation.
2.The child hasthe right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
States Parties recognize the important function performed bythe mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information andmaterial from a diversity of national and international sources, especiallythose aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moralwell-being and physical and mental health. To this end, States Parties shall:
(a)Encourage themass media to disseminate information and material of social and culturalbenefit to the child and in accordance with the spirit of article 29;
(b)Encourageinternational co-operation in the production, exchange and dissemination ofsuch information and material from a diversity of cultural, national andinternational sources;
(c)Encourage theproduction and dissemination of children's books;
(d)Encourage themass media to have particular regard to the linguistic needs of the child whobelongs to a minority group or who is indigenous;
(e)Encourage thedevelopment of appropriate guidelines for the protection of the child frominformation and material injurious to his or her well-being, bearing in mindthe provisions of articles 13 and 18.
1.States Partiesshall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that bothparents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of thechild. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primaryresponsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The bestinterests of the child will be their basic concern.
2.For thepurpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the presentConvention, States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents andlegal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities andshall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the careof children.
3.States Partiesshall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parentshave the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for whichthey are eligible.
1.States Partiesshall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educationalmeasures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence,injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation,including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) orany other person who has the care of the child.
2.Suchprotective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures forthe establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for thechild and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other formsof prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation,treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment describedheretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
1.A childtemporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or inwhose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shallbe entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State.
2.States Partiesshall in accordance with their national laws ensure alternative care for such achild.
3.Such carecould include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic law, adoptionor if necessary placement in suitable institutions for the care of children.When considering solutions, due regard shall be paid to the desirability ofcontinuity in a child's upbringing and to the child's ethnic, religious,cultural and linguistic background.
States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system ofadoption shall ensure that the best interests of the child shall be theparamount consideration and they shall:
(a)Ensure thatthe adoption of a child is authorized only by competent authorities whodetermine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures and on the basis ofall pertinent and reliable information, that the adoption is permissible inview of the child's status concerning parents, relatives and legal guardiansand that, if required, the persons concerned have given their informed consentto the adoption on the basis of such counseling as may be necessary;
(b)Recognize thatinter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of child'scare, if the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannotin any suitable manner be cared for in the child's country of origin;
(c)Ensure thatthe child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys safeguards and standardsequivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;
(d)Take all appropriatemeasures to ensure that, in inter-country adoption, the placement does notresult in improper financial gain for those involved in it;
(e)Promote, whereappropriate, the objectives of the present article by concluding bilateral ormultilateral arrangements or agreements, and endeavour, within this framework,to ensure that the placement of the child in another country is carried out bycompetent authorities or organs.
1.States Partiesshall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugeestatus or who is considered a refugee in accordance with applicableinternational or domestic law and procedures shall, whether unaccompanied oraccompanied by his or her parents or by any other person, receive appropriateprotection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of applicable rightsset forth in the present Convention and in other international human rights orhumanitarian instruments to which the said States are Parties.
2.For thispurpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider appropriate,co-operation in any efforts by the United Nations and other competentintergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations co-operatingwith the United Nations to protect and assist such a child and to trace theparents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order to obtaininformation necessary for reunification with his or her family. In cases whereno parents or other members of the family can be found, the child shall beaccorded the same protection as any other child permanently or temporarilydeprived of his or her family environment for any reason , as set forth in thepresent Convention.
1.States Partiesrecognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full anddecent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance andfacilitate the child's active participation in the community.
2.States Partiesrecognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourageand ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible childand those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which applicationis made and which is appropriate to the child's condition and to thecircumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.
3.Recognizingthe special needs of a disabled child, assistance extended in accordance withparagraph 2 of the present article shall be provided free of charge, wheneverpossible, taking into account the financial resources of the parents or otherscaring for the child, and shall be designed to ensure that the disabled childhas effective access to and receives education, training, health care services,rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and recreationopportunities in a manner conducive to the child's achieving the fullestpossible social integration and individual development, including his or hercultural and spiritual development
4.States Partiesshall promote, in the spirit of international cooperation, the exchange ofappropriate information in the field of preventive health care and of medical,psychological and functional treatment of disabled children, includingdissemination of and access to information concerning methods ofrehabilitation, education and vocational services, with the aim of enablingStates Parties to improve their capabilities and skills and to widen theirexperience in these areas. In this regard, particular account shall be taken ofthe needs of developing countries.
1.States Partiesrecognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainablestandard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness andrehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no childis deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
2.States Partiesshall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall takeappropriate measures:
(a)To diminishinfant and child mortality;
(b)To ensure theprovision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children withemphasis on the development of primary health care;
(c)To combat diseaseand malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care,through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology andthrough the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water,taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution;
(d)To ensureappropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;
(e)To ensure thatall segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, haveaccess to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of childhealth and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene andenvironmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;
(f)To developpreventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education andservices.
3.States Partiesshall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishingtraditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.
4.States Partiesundertake to promote and encourage international co-operation with a view toachieving progressively the full realization of the right recognized in thepresent article. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needsof developing countries.
States Parties recognize the right of a child who has beenplaced by the competent authorities for the purposes of care, protection ortreatment of his or her physical or mental health, to a periodic review of thetreatment provided to the child and all other circumstances relevant to his orher placement.
1.States Partiesshall recognize for every child the right to benefit from social security,including social insurance, and shall take the necessary measures to achievethe full realization of this right in accordance with their national law.
2.The benefitsshould, where appropriate, be granted, taking into account the resources andthe circumstances of the child and persons having responsibility for themaintenance of the child, as well as any other consideration relevant to anapplication for benefits made by or on behalf of the child.
1.States Partiesrecognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for thechild's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
2.The parent(s)or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure,within their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of livingnecessary for the child's development.
3.StatesParties, in accordance with national conditions and within their means, shalltake appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for thechild to implement this right and shall in case of need provide materialassistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to nutrition,clothing and housing.
4.States Partiesshall take all appropriate measures to secure the recovery of maintenance forthe child from the parents or other persons having financial responsibility forthe child, both within the State Party and from abroad. In particular, wherethe person having financial responsibility for the child lives in a Statedifferent from that of the child, States Parties shall promote the accession tointernational agreements or the conclusion of such agreements, as well as themaking of other appropriate arrangements.
1.States Partiesrecognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achievingthis right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, inparticular:
(a)Make primaryeducation compulsory and available free to all;
(b)Encourage thedevelopment of different forms of secondary education, including general andvocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, andtake appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education andoffering financial assistance in case of need;
(c)Make highereducation accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriatemeans;
(d)Make educationaland vocational information and guidance available and accessible to allchildren;
(e)Take measures toencourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.
2.States Partiesshall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline isadministered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and inconformity with the present Convention.
3.States Partiesshall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating toeducation, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination ofignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access toscientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard,particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
1.States Partiesagree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a)The developmentof the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to theirfullest potential;
(b)The developmentof respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principlesenshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c)The developmentof respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, languageand values, for the national values of the country in which the child isliving, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizationsdifferent from his or her own;
(d)The preparationof the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit ofunderstanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among allpeoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenousorigin;
(e)The developmentof respect for the natural environment.
2.No part of thepresent article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with theliberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educationalinstitutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth inparagraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the educationgiven in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may belaid down by the State.
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguisticminorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such aminority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community withother members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to professand practice his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.
1.States Partiesrecognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play andrecreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participatefreely in cultural life and the arts.
2.States Partiesshall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully incultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate andequal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
1.States Partiesrecognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation andfrom performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere withthe child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical,mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
2.States Partiesshall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures toensure the implementation of the present article. To this end, and havingregard to the relevant provisions of other international instruments, StatesParties shall in particular:
(a)Provide for aminimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;
(b)Provide forappropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;
(c)Provide forappropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement ofthe present article.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures,including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, toprotect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropicsubstances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to preventthe use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of suchsubstances.
States Parties undertake to protect the child from all formsof sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Partiesshall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateralmeasures to prevent:
(a)The inducementor coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;
(b)Theexploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexualpractices;
(c)Theexploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
States Parties shall take all appropriate national,bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of ortraffic in children for any purpose or in any form.
States Parties shall protect the child against all otherforms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of the child's welfare.
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a)No child shallbe subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment orpunishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment withoutpossibility of release shall be imposed for offenses committed by persons beloweighteen years of age;
(b)No child shallbe deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest,detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law andshall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriateperiod of time;
(c)Every childdeprived of liberty shall be treated with
humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the humanperson, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his orher age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated fromadults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so andshall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family throughcorrespondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d)Every childdeprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legaland other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge thelegality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or othercompetent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on anysuch action.
1.States Partiesundertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of internationalhumanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant tothe child.
2.States Partiesshall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attainedthe age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
3.States Partiesshall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age offifteen years into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons whohave attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age ofeighteen years, States Parties shall endeavor to give priority to those who areoldest.
4.In accordancewith their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect thecivilian population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all feasiblemeasures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armedconflict.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures topromote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a childvictim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any otherform of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armedconflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environmentwhich fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.
1.States Partiesrecognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized ashaving infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with thepromotion of the child's sense of dignity and worth, which reinforces thechild's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others andwhich takes into account the child's age and the desirability of promoting thechild's reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society.
2.To this end,and having regard to the relevant provisions of international instruments,States Parties shall, in particular, ensure that:
(a)No child shall bealleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law byreason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited by national orinternational law at the time they were committed;
(b)Every childalleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least thefollowing guarantees:
(i)To bepresumed innocent until proven guilty according to law;
(ii)To beinformed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her, and, ifappropriate, through his or her parents or legal guardians, and to have legalor other appropriate assistance in the preparation and presentation of his orher defense;
(iii)To havethe matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartialauthority or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law, in the presenceof legal or other appropriate assistance and, unless it is considered not to bein the best interest of the child, in particular, taking into account his orher age or situation, his or her parents or legal guardians;
(iv)Not to becompelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or have examinedadverse witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination of witnesseson his or her behalf under conditions of equality;
(v)Ifconsidered to have infringed the penal law, to have this decision and anymeasures imposed in consequence thereof reviewed by a higher competent,independent and impartial authority or judicial body according to law;
(vi)To havethe free assistance of an interpreter if the child cannot understand or speakthe language used;
(vii)To havehis or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings.
3.States Partiesshall seek to promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities andinstitutions specifically applicable to children alleged as, accused of, orrecognized as having infringed the penal law, and, in particular:
(a)The establishmentof a minimum age below which children shall be presumed not to have the capacityto infringe the penal law;
(b)Wheneverappropriate and desirable, measures for dealing with such children withoutresorting to judicial proceedings, providing that human rights and legalsafeguards are fully respected.
4.A variety ofdispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counseling;probation; foster care; education and vocational training programmes and otheralternatives to institutional care shall be available to ensure that childrenare dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and proportionateboth to their circumstances and the offense.
Nothing in the present Convention shall affect anyprovisions which are more conducive to the realization of the rights of thechild and which may be contained in:
(a)The law of aState party; or
(b)Internationallaw in force for that State.
States Parties undertake to make the principles andprovisions of the Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, toadults and children alike.
1.For thepurpose of examining the progress made by States Parties in achieving therealization of the obligations undertaken in the present Convention, thereshall be established a Committee on the Rights of the Child, which shall carryout the functions hereinafter provided.
2.The Committeeshall consist of ten experts of high moral standing and recognized competencein the field covered by this Convention. The members of the Committee shall beelected by States Parties from among their nationals and shall serve in theirpersonal capacity, consideration being given to equitable geographicaldistribution, as well as to the principal legal systems.
3.The members ofthe Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of personsnominated by States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person fromamong its own nationals.
4.The initialelection to the Committee shall be held no later than six months after the dateof the entry into force of the present Convention and thereafter every secondyear. At least four months before the date of each election, theSecretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to StatesParties inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. TheSecretary-General shall subsequently prepare a list in alphabetical order ofall persons thus nominated, indicating States Parties which have nominatedthem, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Convention.
5.The electionsshall be held at meetings of States Parties convened by the Secretary-Generalat United Nations Headquarters. At those meetings, for which two thirds ofStates Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committeeshall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majorityof the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
6.The members ofthe Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligiblefor re-election if renominated. The term of five of the members elected at the firstelection shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the firstelection, the names of these five members shall be chosen by lot by theChairman of the meeting.
7.If a member ofthe Committee dies or resigns or declares that for any other cause he or shecan no longer perform the duties of the Committee, the State Party whichnominated the member shall appoint another expert from among its nationals toserve for the remainder of the term, subject to the approval of the Committee.
8.The Committeeshall establish its own rules of procedure.
9.The Committeeshall elect its officers for a period of two years.
10.The meetingsof the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters or atany other convenient place as determined by the Committee. The Committee shallnormally meet annually. The duration of the meetings of the Committee shall bedetermined, and reviewed, if necessary, by a meeting of the States Parties tothe present Convention, subject to the approval of the General Assembly.
11.TheSecretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff andfacilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committeeunder the present Convention.
12.With theapproval of the General Assembly, the members of the Committee establishedunder the present Convention shall receive emoluments from United Nationsresources on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may decide.
1.States Partiesundertake to submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of theUnited Nations, reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect tothe rights recognized herein and on the progress made on the enjoyment of thoserights:
(a)Within two yearsof the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned;
(b)Thereafter everyfive years.
2.Reports madeunder the present article shall indicate factors and difficulties, if any,affecting the degree of fulfilment of the obligations under the presentConvention. Reports shall also contain sufficient information to provide theCommittee with a comprehensive understanding of the implementation of theConvention in the country concerned.
3.A State Partywhich has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the Committee need not,in its subsequent reports submitted in accordance with paragraph 1 (b) of thepresent article, repeat basic information previously provided.
4.The Committeemay request from States Parties further information relevant to theimplementation of the Convention.
5.The Committeeshall submit to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council,every two years, reports on its activities.
6.States Partiesshall make their reports widely available to the public in their own countries.
In order to foster the effective implementation of theConvention and to encourage international co-operation in the field covered bythe Convention:
(a)Thespecialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund, and other UnitedNations organs shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration of theimplementation of such provisions of the present Convention as fall within thescope of their mandate. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, theUnited Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies as it may considerappropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the Convention inareas falling within the scope of their respective mandates. The Committee mayinvite the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund, and otherUnited Nations organs to submit reports on the implementation of the Conventionin areas falling within the scope of their activities;
(b)The Committeeshall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the specialized agencies,the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies, any reports fromStates Parties that contain a request, or indicate a need, for technical adviceor assistance, along with the Committee's observations and suggestions, if any,on these requests or indications;
(c)The Committeemay recommend to the General Assembly to request the Secretary-General toundertake on its behalf studies on specific issues relating to the rights ofthe child;
(d)The Committeemay make suggestions and general recommendations based on information receivedpursuant to articles 44 and 45 of the present Convention. Such suggestions andgeneral recommendations shall be transmitted to any State Party concerned andreported to the General Assembly, together with comments, if any, from StatesParties.
The present Convention shall be open for signature by allStates.
The present Convention is subject to ratification.Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General ofthe United Nations.
The present Convention shall remain open for accession byany State. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with theSecretary-General of the United Nations.
1.The presentConvention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date ofdeposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentiethinstrument of ratification or accession.
2.For each Stateratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the twentiethinstrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into forceon the thirtieth day after the deposit by such State of its instrument ofratification or accession.
1.Any StateParty may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of theUnited Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposedamendment to States Parties, with a request that they indicate whether theyfavor a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and votingupon the proposals. In the event that, within four months from the date of suchcommunication, at least one third of the States Parties favor such aconference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under theauspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of StatesParties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the GeneralAssembly for approval.
2.An amendmentadopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter intoforce when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nationsand accepted by a two-thirds majority of States Parties.
3.When anamendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States Parties whichhave accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions ofthe present Convention and any earlier amendments which they have accepted.
1.TheSecretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to allStates the text of reservations made by States at the time of ratification oraccession.
2.A reservationincompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not bepermitted.
3.Reservationsmay be withdrawn at any time by notification to that effect addressed to theSecretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then inform all States. Suchnotification shall take effect on the date on which it is received by theSecretary-General
A State Party may denounce the present Convention by writtennotification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciationbecomes effective one year after the date of receipt of the notification by theSecretary-General.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated asthe depositary of the present Convention.
The original of the present Convention, of which the Arabic,Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic,shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
IN WITNESS THEREOF the undersigned plenipotentiaries, beingduly authorized thereto by their respective governments, have signed thepresent Convention.
U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty
United Nations Rules for the Protection of JuvenilesDeprived of their Liberty, G.A. Res. 45/113, annex, 45 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No.49A), p. 205, U.N. Doc. A/45/49 (1990).
1.The juvenilejustice system should uphold the rights and safety and promote the physical andmental well-being of juveniles. Imprisonment should be used as a last resort.
2.Juvenilesshould only be deprived of their liberty in accordance with the principles andprocedures set forth in these Rules and in the United Nations Standard MinimumRules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules).Deprivation of the liberty of a juvenile should be a disposition of last resortand for the minimum necessary period and should be limited to exceptionalcases. The length of the sanction should be determined by the judicialauthority, without precluding the possibility of his or her early release.
3.The Rules areintended to establish minimum standards accepted by the United Nations for theprotection of juveniles deprived of their liberty in all forms, consistent withhuman rights and fundamental freedoms, and with a view to counteracting thedetrimental effects of all types of detention and to fostering integration insociety.
4.The Rulesshould be applied impartially, without discrimination of any kind as to race,color, sex, age, language, religion, nationality, political or other opinion,cultural beliefs or practices, property, birth or family status, ethnic orsocial origin, and disability. The religious and cultural beliefs, practicesand moral concepts of the juvenile should be respected.
5.The Rules aredesigned to serve as convenient standards of reference and to provideencouragement and guidance to professionals involved in the management of thejuvenile justice system.
6.The Rulesshould be made readily available to juvenile justice personnel in theirnational languages. Juveniles who are not fluent in the language spoken by thepersonnel of the detention facility should have the right to the services of aninterpreter free of charge whenever necessary, in particular during medicalexaminations and disciplinary proceedings.
7.Whereappropriate, States should incorporate the Rules into their legislation oramend it accordingly and provide effective remedies for their breach, includingcompensation when injuries are inflicted on juveniles. States should alsomonitor the application of the Rules.
8.The competentauthorities should constantly seek to increase the awareness of the public thatthe care of detained juveniles and preparation for their return to society is asocial service of great importance, and to this end active steps should betaken to foster open contacts between the juveniles and the local community.
9.Nothing in theRules should be interpreted as precluding the application of the relevantUnited Nations and human rights instruments and standards, recognized by theinternational community, that are more conducive to ensuring the rights, careand protection of juveniles, children and all young persons.
10.In the eventthat the practical application of particular Rules contained in sections II toV, inclusive, presents any conflict with the Rules contained in the presentsection, compliance with the latter shall be regarded as the predominantrequirement.
II.SCOPEAND APPLICATION OF THE RULES
11.For thepurposes of the Rules, the following definitions should apply:
(a)A juvenile isevery person under the age of 18. The age limit below which it should not bepermitted to deprive a child of his or her liberty should be determined by law;
(b)The deprivationof liberty means any form of detention or imprisonment or the placement of aperson in a public or private custodial setting, from which this person is notpermitted to leave at will, by order of any judicial, administrative or otherpublic authority.
12.The deprivationof liberty should be effected in conditions and circumstances which ensurerespect for the human rights of juveniles. Juveniles detained in facilitiesshould be guaranteed the benefit of meaningful activities and programmes whichwould serve to promote and sustain their health and self-respect, to fostertheir sense of responsibility and encourage those attitudes and skills thatwill assist them in developing their potential as members of society.
13.Juvenilesdeprived of their liberty shall not for any reason related to their status bedenied the civil, economic, political, social or cultural rights to which theyare entitled under national or international law, and which are compatible withthe deprivation of liberty.
14.The protectionof the individual rights of juveniles with special regard to the legality ofthe execution of the detention measures shall be ensured by the competentauthority, while the objectives of social integration should be secured byregular inspections and other means of control carried out, according tointernational standards, national laws and regulations, by a duly constitutedbody authorized to visit the juveniles and not belonging to the detentionfacility.
15.The Rulesapply to all types and forms of detention facilities in which juveniles aredeprived of their liberty. Sections I, II, IV and V of the Rules apply to alldetention facilities and institutional settings in which juveniles aredetained, and section III applies specifically to juveniles under arrest or awaitingtrial.
16.The Rulesshall be implemented in the context of the economic, social and culturalconditions prevailing in each Member State.
III.JUVENILESUNDER ARREST OR AWAITING TRIAL
17.Juveniles whoare detained under arrest or awaiting trial ("untried'') are presumedinnocent and shall be treated as such. Detention before trial shall be avoidedto the extent possible and limited to exceptional circumstances. Therefore, allefforts shall be made to apply alternative measures. When preventive detentionis nevertheless used, juvenile courts and investigative bodies shall give thehighest priority to the most expeditious processing of such cases to ensure theshortest possible duration of detention. Untried detainees should be separatedfrom convicted juveniles.
18.The conditions under which an untried juvenile is detainedshould be consistent with the rules set out below, with additional specificprovisions as are necessary and appropriate, given the requirements of thepresumption of innocence, the duration of the detention and the legal statusand circumstances of the juvenile. These provisions would include, but notnecessarily be restricted to, the following:
(a)Juveniles should have the right of legal counsel and be enabledto apply for free legal aid, where such aid is available, and to communicateregularly with their legal advisers. Privacy and confidentiality shall beensured for such communications;
(b)Juveniles should be provided, where possible, with opportunitiesto pursue work, with remuneration, and continue education or training, butshould not be required to do so. Work, education or training should not causethe continuation of the detention;
(c)Juveniles should receive and retain materials for their leisureand recreation as are compatible with the interests of the administration ofjustice.
IV.THEMANAGEMENT OF JUVENILE FACILITIES
19.All reports,including legal records, medical records and records of disciplinaryproceedings, and all other documents relating to the form, content and detailsof treatment, should be placed in a confidential individual file, which shouldbe kept up to date, accessible only to authorized persons and classified insuch a way as to be easily understood. Where possible, every juvenile shouldhave the right to contest any fact or opinion contained in his or her file soas to permit rectification of inaccurate, unfounded or unfair statements. Inorder to exercise this right, there should be procedures that allow anappropriate third party to have access to and to consult the file on request.Upon release, the records of juveniles shall be sealed, and, at an appropriatetime, expunged.
20.No juvenileshould be received in any detention facility without a valid commitment orderof a judicial, administrative or other public authority. The details of thisorder should be immediately entered in the register. No juvenile should bedetained in any facility where there is no such register.
B.Admission, registration,movement and transfer
21.In every placewhere juveniles are detained, a complete and secure record of the followinginformation should be kept concerning each juvenile received:
(a)Information onthe identity of the juvenile;
(b)The fact of andreasons for commitment and the authority therefor;
(c)The day and hourof admission, transfer and release;
(d)Details of thenotifications to parents and guardians on every admission, transfer or releaseof the juvenile in their care at the time of commitment;
(e)Details of knownphysical and mental health problems, including drug and alcohol abuse.
22.Theinformation on admission, place, transfer and release should be providedwithout delayto the parents and guardians or closest relative of the juvenileconcerned.
23.As soon aspossible after reception, full reports and relevant information on the personalsituation and circumstances of each juvenile should be drawn up and submittedto the administration.
24.On admission,all juveniles shall be given a copy of the rules governing the detentionfacility and a written description of their rights and obligations in alanguage they can understand, together with the address of the authoritiescompetent to receive complaints, as well as the address of public or privateagencies and organizations which provide legal assistance. For those juvenileswho are illiterate or who cannot understand the language in the written form,the information should be conveyed in a manner enabling full comprehension.
25.All juvenilesshould be helped to understand the regulations governing the internalorganization of the facility, the goals and methodology of the care provided,the disciplinary requirements and procedures, other authorized methods ofseeking information and of making complaints and all such other matters as arenecessary to enable them to understand fully their rights and obligationsduring detention.
26.The transportof juveniles should be carried out at the expense of the administration inconveyances with adequate ventilation and light, in conditions that should inno way subject them to hardship or indignity. Juveniles should not betransferred from one facility to another arbitrarily.
C.Classification and placement
27.As soon as possible after the moment of admission, eachjuvenile should be interviewed, and a psychological and social reportidentifying any factors relevant to the specific type and level of care andprogramme required by the juvenile should be prepared. This report, togetherwith the report prepared by a medical officer who has examined the juvenileupon admission, should be forwarded to the director for purposes of determiningthe most appropriate placement for the juvenile within the facility and thespecific type and level of care and programme required and to be pursued. When specialrehabilitative treatment is required, and the length of stay in the facilitypermits, trained personnel of the facility should prepare a written,individualized treatment plan specifying treatment objectives and time-frameand the means, stages and delays with which the objectives should beapproached.
28.The detention of juveniles should only take place underconditions that take full account of their particular needs, status and specialrequirements according to their age, personality, sex and type of offense, aswell as mental and physical health, and which ensure their protection fromharmful influences and risk situations. The principal criterion for theseparation of different categories of juveniles deprived of their libertyshould be the provision of the type of care best suited to the particular needsof the individuals concerned and the protection of their physical, mental andmoral integrity and well-being.
29.In all detention facilities juveniles should be separatedfrom adults, unless they are members of the same family. Under controlledconditions, juveniles may be brought together with carefully selected adults aspart of a special programme that has been shown to be beneficial for thejuveniles concerned.
30.Open detention facilities for juveniles should beestablished. Open detention facilities are those with no or minimal securitymeasures. The population in such detention facilities should be as small aspossible. The number of juveniles detained in closed facilities should be smallenough to enable individualized treatment. Detention facilities for juvenilesshould be decentralized and of such size as to facilitate access and contactbetween the juveniles and their families. Small-scale detention facilitiesshould be established and integrated into the social, economic and culturalenvironment of the community.
D.Physical environment andaccommodation
31.Juveniles deprived of their liberty have the right tofacilities and services that meet all the requirements of health and human dignity.
32.The design of detention facilities for juveniles and thephysical environment should be in keeping with the rehabilitative aim ofresidential treatment, with due regard to the need of the juvenile for privacy,sensory stimuli, opportunities for association with peers and participation insports, physical exercise and leisure-time activities. The design and structureof juvenile detention facilities should be such as to minimize the risk of fireand to ensure safe evacuation from the premises. There should be an effectivealarm system in case of fire, as well as formal and drilled procedures toensure the safety of the juveniles. Detention facilities should not be locatedin areas where there are known health or other hazards or risks.
33.Sleeping accommodation should normally consist of small groupdormitories or individual bedrooms, while bearing in mind local standards.During sleeping hours there should be regular, unobtrusive supervision of allsleeping areas, including individual rooms and group dormitories, in order toensure the protection of each juvenile. Every juvenile should, in accordancewith local or national standards, be provided with separate and sufficientbedding, which should be clean when issued, kept in good order and changedoften enough to ensure cleanliness.
34.Sanitary installations should be so located and of asufficient standard to enable every juvenile to comply, as required, with theirphysical needs in privacy and in a clean and decent manner.
35.The possession of personal effects is a basic element of theright to privacy and essential to the psychological well-being of the juvenile.The right of every juvenile to possess personal effects and to have adequatestorage facilities for them should be fully recognized and respected. Personaleffects that the juvenile does not choose to retain or that are confiscatedshould be placed in safe custody. An inventory thereof should be signed by thejuvenile. Steps should be taken to keep them in good condition. All such articlesand money should be returned to the juvenile on release, except in so far as heor she has been authorized to spend money or send such property out of thefacility. If a juvenile receives or is found in possession of any medicine, themedical officer should decide what use should be made of it.
36.To the extent possible juveniles should have the right to usetheir own clothing. Detention facilities should ensure that each juvenile haspersonal clothing suitable for the climate and adequate to ensure good health,and which should in no manner be degrading or humiliating. Juveniles removedfrom or leaving a facility for any purpose should be allowed to wear their ownclothing.
37.Every detention facility shall ensure that every juvenilereceivesfood that is suitably prepared and presented at normal meal times andof a quality and quantity to satisfy the standards of dietetics, hygiene andhealth and, as far as possible, religious and cultural requirements. Cleandrinking water should be available to every juvenile at any time.
E.Education, vocationaltraining and work
38.Every juvenile of compulsory school age has the right toeducation suited to his or her needs and abilities and designed to prepare himor her for return to society. Such education should be provided outside thedetention facility in community schools wherever possible and, in any case, byqualified teachers through programmes integrated with the education system ofthe country so that, after release, juveniles may continue their educationwithout difficulty. Special attention should be given by the administration ofthe detention facilities to the education of juveniles of foreign origin orwith particular cultural or ethnic needs. Juveniles who are illiterate or havecognitive or learning difficulties should have the right to special education.
39.Juveniles above compulsory school age who wish to continuetheir education should be permitted and encouraged to do so, and every effortshould be made to provide them with access to appropriate educationalprogrammes.
40.Diplomas or educational certificates awarded to juvenileswhile in detention should not indicate in any way that the juvenile has beeninstitutionalized.
41.Every detention facility should provide access to a librarythat is adequately stocked with both instructional and recreational books andperiodicals suitable for the juveniles, who should be encouraged and enabled tomake full use of it.
42.Every juvenile should have the right to receive vocationaltraining in occupations likely to prepare him or her for future employment.
43.With due regard to proper vocational selection and to therequirements of institutional administration, juveniles should be able tochoose the type of work they wish to perform.
44.All protective national and international standardsapplicable to child labor and young workers should apply to juveniles deprivedof their liberty.
45.Wherever possible, juveniles should be provided with theopportunity to perform remunerated labor, if possible within the localcommunity, as a complement to the vocational training provided in order toenhance the possibility of finding suitable employment when they return totheir communities. The type of work should be such as to provide appropriatetraining that will be of benefit to the juveniles following release. Theorganization and methods of work offered in detention facilities shouldresemble as closely as possible those of similar work in the community, so asto prepare juveniles for the conditions of normal occupational life.
46.Every juvenile who performs work should have the right to anequitable remuneration. The interests of the juveniles and of their vocationaltraining should not be subordinated to the purpose of making a profit for thedetention facility or a third party. Part of the earnings of a juvenile shouldnormally be set aside to constitute a savings fund to be handed over to thejuvenile on release. The juvenile should have the right to use the remainder ofthose earnings to purchase articles for his or her own use or to indemnify thevictim injured by his or her offense or to send it to his or her family orother persons outside the detention facility.
47.Every juvenile should have the right to a suitable amount oftime for daily free exercise, in the open air whenever weather permits, duringwhich time appropriate recreational and physical training should normally beprovided. Adequate space, installations and equipment should be provided forthese activities. Every juvenile should have additional time for daily leisureactivities, part of which should be devoted, if the juvenile so wishes, to artsand crafts skill development. The detention facility should ensure that eachjuvenile is physically able to participate in the available programmes ofphysical education. Remedial physical education and therapy should be offered,under medical supervision, to juveniles needing it.
48.Every juvenile should be allowed to satisfy the needs of hisor her religious and spiritual life, in particular by attending the services ormeetings provided in the detention facility or by conducting his or her ownservices and having possession of the necessary books or items of religiousobservance and instruction of his or her denomination. If a detention facilitycontains a sufficient number of juveniles of a given religion, one or morequalified representatives of that religion should be appointed or approved andallowed to hold regular services and to pay pastoral visits in private to juvenilesat their request. Every juvenile should have the right to receive visits from aqualified representative of any religion of his or her choice, as well as theright not to participate in religious services and freely to decline religiouseducation, counseling or indoctrination.
49.Every juvenile shall receive adequate medical care, bothpreventive and remedial, including dental, ophthalmological and mental healthcare, as well as pharmaceutical products and special diets as medically indicated.All such medical care should, where possible, be provided to detained juvenilesthrough the appropriate health facilities and services of the community inwhich the detention facility is located, in order to prevent stigmatization ofthe juvenile and promote self-respect and integration into the community.
50.Every juvenile has a right to be examined by a physicianimmediately upon admission to a detention facility, for the purpose ofrecording any evidence of prior ill-treatment and identifying any physical ormental condition requiring medical attention.
51.The medical services provided to juveniles should seek todetect and should treat any physical or mental illness, substance abuse orother condition that may hinder the integration of the juvenile into society.Every detention facility for juveniles should have immediate access to adequatemedical facilities and equipment appropriate to the number and requirements ofits residents and staff trained in preventive health care and the handling ofmedical emergencies. Every juvenile who is ill, who complains of illness or whodemonstrates symptoms of physical or mental difficulties, should be examinedpromptly by a medical officer.
52.Any medical officer who has reason to believe that thephysical or mental health of a juvenile has been or will be injuriouslyaffected by continued detention, a hunger strike or any condition of detentionshould report this fact immediately to the director of the detention facilityin question and to the independent authority responsible for safeguarding thewell-being of the juvenile.
53.A juvenile who is suffering from mental illness should betreated in a specialized institution under independent medical management.Steps should be taken, by arrangement with appropriate agencies, to ensure anynecessary continuation of mental health care after release.
54.Juvenile detention facilities should adopt specialized drugabuse prevention and rehabilitation programmes administered by qualifiedpersonnel. These programmes should be adapted to the age, sex and otherrequirements of the juveniles concerned, and detoxification facilities andservices staffed by trained personnel should be available to drug- oralcohol-dependent juveniles.
55.Medicines should be administered only for necessary treatmenton medical grounds and, when possible, after having obtained the informedconsent of the juvenile concerned. In particular, they must not be administeredwith a view to eliciting information or a confession, as a punishment or as ameans of restraint. Juveniles shall never be testers in the experimental use ofdrugs and treatment. The administration of any drug should always be authorizedand carried out by qualified medical personnel.
I.Notification of illness,injury and death
56.The family or guardian of a juvenile and any other persondesignated by the juvenile have the right to be informed of the state of healthof the juvenile on request and in the event of any important changes in thehealth of the juvenile. The director of the detention facility should notifyimmediately the family or guardian of the juvenile concerned, or otherdesignated person, in case of death, illness requiring transfer of the juvenileto an outside medical facility, or a condition requiring clinical care withinthe detention facility for more than 48 hours. Notification should also begiven to the consular authorities of the State of which a foreign juvenile is acitizen.
57.Upon the death of a juvenile during the period of deprivationof liberty, the nearest relative should have the right to inspect the deathcertificate, see the body and determine the method of disposal of the body.Upon the death of a juvenile in detention, there should be an independentinquiry into the causes of death, the report of which should be made accessibleto the nearest relative. This inquiry should also be made when the death of ajuvenile occurs within six months from the date of his or her release from thedetention facility and there is reason to believe that the death is related tothe period of detention.
58.A juvenile should be informed at the earliest possible timeof the death, serious illness or injury of any immediate family member andshould be provided with the opportunity to attend the funeral of the deceasedor go to the bedside of a critically ill relative.
J.Contacts with the widercommunity
59.Every means should be provided to ensure that juveniles haveadequate communication with the outside world, which is an integral part of theright to fair and humane treatment and is essential to the preparation ofjuveniles for their return to society. Juveniles should be allowed tocommunicate with their families, friends and other persons or representativesof reputable outside organizations, to leave detention facilities for a visitto their home and family and to receive special permission to leave thedetention facility for educational, vocational or other important reasons.Should the juvenile be serving a sentence, the time spent outside a detentionfacility should be counted as part of the period of sentence.
60.Every juvenile should have the right to receive regular andfrequent visits, in principle once a week and not less than once a month, incircumstances that respect the need of the juvenile for privacy, contact andunrestricted communication with the family and the defense counsel.
61.Every juvenile should have the right to communicate inwriting or by telephone at least twice a week with the person of his or herchoice, unless legally restricted, and should be assisted as necessary in ordereffectively to enjoy this right. Every juvenile should have the right toreceive correspondence.
62.Juveniles should have the opportunity to keep themselvesinformed regularly of the news by reading newspapers, periodicals and otherpublications, through access to radio and television programmes and motionpictures, and through the visits of the representatives of any lawful club ororganization in which the juvenile is interested.
K.Limitations of physical restraintand the use of force
63.Recourse to instruments of restraint and to force for anypurpose should be prohibited, except as set forth in rule 64 below.
64.Instruments of restraint and force can only be used inexceptional cases, where all other control methods have been exhausted andfailed, and only as explicitly authorized and specified by law and regulation.They should not cause humiliation or degradation, and should be usedrestrictively and only for the shortest possible period of time. By order ofthe director of the administration, such instruments might be resorted to inorder to prevent the juvenile from inflicting self-injury, injuries to othersor serious destruction of property. In such instances, the director should atonce consult medical and other relevant personnel and report to the higheradministrative authority.
65.The carrying and use of weapons by personnel should beprohibited in any facility where juveniles are detained.
66.Any disciplinary measures and procedures should maintain theinterest of safety and an ordered community life and should be consistent withthe upholding of the inherent dignity of the juvenile and the fundamentalobjective of institutional care, namely, instilling a sense of justice,self-respect and respect for the basic rights of every person.
67.All disciplinary measures constituting cruel, inhuman ordegrading treatment shall be strictly prohibited, including corporalpunishment, placement in a dark cell, closed or solitary confinement or anyother punishment that may compromise the physical or mental health of thejuvenile concerned. The reduction of diet and the restriction or denial ofcontact with family members should be prohibited for any purpose. Labor shouldalways be viewed as an educational tool and a means of promoting theself-respect of the juvenile in preparing him or her for return to thecommunity and should not be imposed as a disciplinary sanction. No juvenileshould be sanctioned more than once for the same disciplinary infraction.Collective sanctions should be prohibited.
68.Legislation or regulations adopted by the competentadministrative authority should establish norms concerning the following,taking full account of the fundamental characteristics, needs and rights ofjuveniles:
(a)Conduct constituting a disciplinary offense;
(b)Type and duration of disciplinary sanctions that may beinflicted;
(c)The authority competent to impose such sanctions;
(d)The authority competent to consider appeals.
69.A report of misconduct should be presented promptly to thecompetent authority, which should decide on it without undue delay. Thecompetent authority should conduct a thorough examination of the case.
70.No juvenile should be disciplinarily sanctioned except instrict accordance with the terms of the law and regulations in force. Nojuvenile should be sanctioned unless he or she has been informed of the allegedinfraction in a manner appropriate to the full understanding of the juvenile,and given a proper opportunity of presenting his or her defense, including theright of appeal to a competent impartial authority. Complete records should bekept of all disciplinary proceedings.
71.No juveniles should be responsible for disciplinary functionsexcept in the supervision of specified social, educational or sports activitiesor in self-government programmes.
M.Inspection and complaints
72.Qualified inspectors or an equivalent duly constitutedauthority not belonging to the administration of the facility should beempowered to conduct inspections on a regular basis and to undertakeunannounced inspections on their own initiative, and should enjoy fullguarantees of independence in the exercise of this function. Inspectors shouldhave unrestricted access to all persons employed by or working in any facilitywhere juveniles are or may be deprived of their liberty, to all juveniles andto all records of such facilities.
73.Qualified medical officers attached to the inspectingauthority or the public health service should participate in the inspections,evaluating compliance with the rules concerning the physical environment,hygiene, accommodation, food, exercise and medical services, as well as anyother aspect or conditions of institutional life that affect the physical andmental health of juveniles. Every juvenile should have the right to talk inconfidence to any inspecting officer.
74.After completing the inspection, the inspector should berequired to submit a report on the findings. The report should include anevaluation of the compliance of the detention facilities with the present rulesand relevant provisions of national law, and recommendations regarding anysteps considered necessary to ensure compliance with them. Any facts discoveredby an inspector that appear to indicate that a violation of legal provisionsconcerning the rights of juveniles or the operation of a juvenile detentionfacility has occurred should be communicated to the competent authorities forinvestigation and prosecution.
75.Every juvenile should have the opportunity of making requestsor complaints to the director of the detention facility and to his or herauthorized representative.
76.Every juvenile should have the right to make a request orcomplaint, without censorship as to substance, to the central administration,the judicial authority or other proper authorities through approved channels,and to be informed of the response without delay.
77.Efforts should be made to establish an independent office(ombudsman) to receive and investigate complaints made by juveniles deprived oftheir liberty and to assist in the achievement of equitable settlements.
78.Every juvenile should have the right to request assistancefrom family members, legal counselors, humanitarian groups or others wherepossible, in order to make a complaint. Illiterate juveniles should be providedwith assistance should they need to use the services of public or privateagencies and organizations which provide legal counsel or which are competentto receive complaints.
N.Return to the community
79.All juveniles should benefit from arrangements designed toassist them in returning to society, family life, education or employment afterrelease. Procedures, including early release, and special courses should be devisedto this end.
80.Competent authorities should provide or ensure services toassist juveniles in re-establishing themselves in society and to lessenprejudice against such juveniles. These services should ensure', to the extentpossible, that the juvenile is provided with suitable residence, employment,clothing, and sufficient means to maintain himself or herself upon release inorder to facilitate successful reintegration. The representatives of agenciesproviding such services should be consulted and should have access to juvenileswhile detained, with a view to assisting them in their return to the community.
81.Personnel should be qualified and include a sufficient numberof specialists such as educators, vocational instructors, counselors, socialworkers, psychiatrists and psychologists. These and other specialist staffshould normally be employed on a permanent basis. This should not precludepart-time or volunteer workers when the level of support and training they canprovide is appropriate and beneficial. Detention facilities should make use ofall remedial, educational, moral, spiritual, and other resources and forms ofassistance that are appropriate and available in the community, according tothe individual needs and problems of detained juveniles.
82.The administration should provide for the careful selectionand recruitment of every grade and type of personnel, since the propermanagement of detention facilities depends on their integrity, humanity,ability and professional capacity to deal with juveniles, as well as personalsuitability for the work.
83.To secure the foregoing ends, personnel should be appointedas professional officers with adequate remuneration to attract and retainsuitable women and men. The personnel of juvenile detention facilities shouldbe continually encouraged to fulfil their duties and obligations in a humane,committed, professional, fair and efficient manner, to conduct themselves atall times in such a way as to deserve and gain the respect of the juveniles,and to provide juveniles with a positive role model and perspective.
84.The administration should introduce forms of organization andmanagement that facilitate communications between different categories of staffin each detention facility so as to enhance cooperation between the variousservices engaged in the care of juveniles, as well as between staff and theadministration, with a view to ensuring that staff directly in contact withjuveniles are able to function in conditions favorable to the efficientfulfilment of their duties.
85.The personnel should receive such training as will enablethem to carry out their responsibilities effectively, in particular training inchild psychology, child welfare and international standards and norms of humanrights and the rights of the child, including the present Rules. The personnelshould maintain and improve their knowledge and professional capacity byattending courses of in-service training, to be organized at suitable intervalsthroughout their career.
86.The director of a facility should be adequately qualified forhis or her task, with administrative ability and suitable training andexperience, and should carry out his or her duties on a full-time basis.
87.In the performance of their duties, personnel of detentionfacilities should respect and protect the human dignity and fundamental humanrights of all juveniles, in particular, as follows:
(a)No member of the detention facility or institutional personnelmay inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture or any form of harsh,cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, punishment, correction or disciplineunder any pretext or circumstance whatsoever;
(b)All personnel should rigorously oppose and combat any act ofcorruption, reporting it without delay to the competent authorities;
(c)All personnel should respect the present Rules. Personnel whohave reason to believe that a serious violation of the present Rules hasoccurred or is about to occur should report the matter to their superiorauthorities or organs vested with reviewing or remedial power;
(d)All personnel should ensure the full protection of the physicaland mental health of juveniles, including protection from physical, sexual andemotional abuse and exploitation, and should take immediate action to securemedical attention whenever required;
(e)All personnel should respect the right of the juvenile toprivacy, and, in particular, should safeguard all confidential mattersconcerning juveniles or their families learned as a result of theirprofessional capacity;
(f)All personnel should seek to minimize any differences betweenlife inside and outside the detention facility which tend to lessen due respectfor the dignity of juveniles as human beings.
U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice
UnitedNations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice("The Beijing Rules"), G.A. Res. 40/33, annex, 40 U.N. GAOR Supp.(No. 53), p. 207, U.N. Doc. A/40/53 (1985).
1.1Member Statesshall seek, in conformity with their respective general interests, to furtherthe well-being of the juvenile and her or his family.
1.2Member Statesshall endeavor to develop conditions that will ensure for the juvenile ameaningful life in the community, which, during that period in life when she orhe is most susceptible to deviant behavior, will foster a process of personaldevelopment and education that is as free from crime and delinquency aspossible.
1.3Sufficientattention shall be given to positive measures that involve the fullmobilization of all possible resources, including the family, volunteers andother community groups, as well as schools and other community institutions,for the purpose of promoting the well-being of the juvenile, with a view toreducing the need for intervention under the law, and of effectively, fairlyand humanely dealing with the juvenile in conflict with the law.
1.4Juvenilejustice shall be conceived as an integral part of the national developmentprocess of each country, within a comprehensive framework of social justice forall juveniles, thus, at the same time, contributing to the protection of theyoung and the maintenance of a peaceful order in society.
1.5These Rulesshall be implemented in the context of economic, social and cultural conditionsprevailing in each Member State.
1.6Juvenilejustice services shall be systematically developed and coordinated with a viewto improving and sustaining the competence of personnel involved in theservices, including their methods, approaches and attitudes.
These broad fundamental perspectives refer to comprehensivesocial policy in general and aim at promoting juvenile welfare to the greatestpossible extent, which will minimize the necessity of intervention by thejuvenile justice system, and in turn, will reduce the harm that may be causedby any intervention. Such care measures for the young, before the onset ofdelinquency, are basic policy requisites designed to obviate the need for theapplication of the Rules.
Rules 1.1 to 1.3 point to the important role that aconstructive social policy for juveniles will play, inter alia, in theprevention of juvenile crime and delinquency. Rule 1.4 defines juvenile justiceas an integral part of social justice for juveniles, while rule 1.6 refers tothe necessity of constantly improving juvenile justice, without falling behindthe development of progressive social policy for juveniles in general and bearingin mind the need for consistent improvement of staff services.
Rule 1.5 seeks to take account of existing conditions inMember States which would cause the manner of implementation of particularrules necessarily to be different from the manner adopted in other States.
2.Scope of the Rules anddefinitions used
2.1The followingStandard Minimum Rules shall be applied to juvenile offenders impartially,without distinction of any kind, for example as to race, color, sex, language,religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property,birth or other status.
2.2For purposesof these Rules, the following definitions shall be applied by Member States ina manner which is compatible with their respective legal systems and concepts:
(a)A juvenile is achild or young person who, under the respective legal systems, may be dealtwith for an offense in a manner which is different from an adult;
(b)An offense is anybehavior (act or omission) that is punishable by law under the respective legalsystem
(c)A juvenileoffender is a child or young person who is alleged to have committed or who hasbeen found to have committed an offense.
2.3Efforts shallbe made to establish, in each national jurisdiction, a set of laws, rules andprovisions specifically applicable to juvenile offenders and institutions andbodies entrusted with the functions of the administration of juvenile justiceand designed:
(a)To meet thevarying needs of juvenile offenders, while protecting their basic rights;
(b)To meet the needsof society;
(c)To implement thefollowing rules thoroughly and fairly.
The Standard Minimum Rules are deliberately formulated so asto be applicable within different legal systems and, at the same time, to setsome minimum standards for the handling of juvenile offenders under anydefinition of a juvenile and under any system of dealing with juvenileoffenders. The Rules are always to be applied impartially and withoutdistinction of any kind.
Rule 2.1 therefore stresses the importance of the Rulesalways being applied impartially and without distinction of any kind. The rulefollows the formulation of principle 2 of the Declaration of the Rights of theChild.
Rule 2.2 defines"juvenile"and"offense"as the components of the notion of the"juvenileoffender", who is the main subject of these Standard Minimum Rules (see,however, also rules 3 and 4). It should be noted that age limits will dependon, and are explicitly made dependent on, each respective legal system, thus fullyrespecting the economic, social, political, cultural and legal systems ofMember States. This makes for a wide variety of ages coming under thedefinition of"juvenile", ranging from 7 years to 18 years or above.Such a variety seems inevitable in view of the different national legal systemsand does not diminish the impact of these Standard Minimum Rules.
Rule 2.3 is addressed to the necessity of specific nationallegislation for the optimal implementation of these Standard Minimum Rules,both legally and practically.
3.Extension of the Rules
3.1The relevantprovisions of the Rules shall be applied not only to juvenile offenders butalso to juveniles who may be proceeded against for any specific behavior thatwould not be punishable if committed by an adult.
3.2Efforts shallbe made to extend the principles embodied in the Rules to all juveniles who aredealt with in welfare and care proceedings.
3.3Efforts shallalso be made to extend the principles embodied in the Rules to young adultoffenders.
Rule 3 extends the protection afforded by the StandardMinimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice to cover:
(a)The so-called"status offenses"prescribed in various national legal systems wherethe range of behavior considered to be an offense is wider for juveniles thanit is for adults (for example, truancy, school and family disobedience, publicdrunkenness, etc.) (rule 3.1);
(b)Juvenilewelfare and care proceedings (rule 3.2);
(c)Proceedingsdealing with young adult offenders, depending of course on each given age limit(rule 3.3).
The extension of the Rules to cover these three areas seemsto be justified. Rule 3.1 provides minimum guarantees in those fields, and rule3.2 is considered a desirable step in the direction of more fair, equitable andhumane justice for all juveniles in conflict with the law.
4.Age of criminalresponsibility
4.1In those legalsystems recognizing the concept of the age of criminal responsibility forjuveniles, the beginning of that age shall not be fixed at too low an agelevel, bearing in mind the facts of emotional, mental and intellectualmaturity.
The minimum age of criminal responsibility differs widelyowing to history and culture. The modern approach would be to consider whethera child can live up to the moral and psychological components of criminalresponsibility; that is, whether a child, by virtue of her or his individualdiscernment and understanding, can be held responsible for essentiallyantisocial be ha vi our. If the age of criminal responsibility is fixed too lowor if there is no lower age limit at all, the notion of responsibility wouldbecome meaningless. In general, there is a close relationship between thenotion of responsibility for delinquent or criminal behavior and other socialrights and responsibilities (such as marital status, civil majority, etc.).
Efforts should therefore be made to agree on a reasonablelowest age limit that is applicable internationally.
5.Aims of juvenile justice
5.1The juvenilejustice system shall emphasize the well-being of the juvenile and shall ensurethat any reaction to juvenile offenders shall always be in proportion to thecircumstances of both the offenders and the offense.
Rule 5 refers to two of the most important objectives ofjuvenile justice. The first objective is the promotion of the well-being of thejuvenile. This is the main focus of those legal systems in which juvenileoffenders are dealt with by family courts or administrative authorities, butthe well-being of the juvenile should also be emphasized in legal systems thatfollow the criminal court model, thus contributing to the avoidance of merelypunitive sanctions. (See also rule 14.)
The second objective is"the principle ofproportionality". This principle is well-known as an instrument forcurbing punitive sanctions, mostly expressed in terms of just deserts inrelation to the gravity of the offense. The response to young offenders shouldbe based on the consideration not only of the gravity of the offense but alsoof personal circumstances. The individual circumstances of the offender (forexample social status, family situation, the harm caused by the offense orother factors affecting personal circumstances) should influence theproportionality of the reactions (for example by having regard to theoffender's endeavor to indemnify the victim or to her or his willingness toturn to wholesome and useful life).
By the same token, reactions aiming to ensure the welfare ofthe young offender may go beyond necessity and therefore infringe upon thefundamental rights of the young individual, as has been observed in somejuvenile justice systems. Here, too, the proportionality of the reaction to thecircumstances of both the offender and the offense, including the victim, shouldbe safeguarded.
In essence, rule 5 calls for no less and no more than a fairreaction in any given cases of juvenile delinquency and crime. The issuescombined in the rule may help to stimulate development in both regards: new andinnovative types of reactions are as desirable as precautions against any unduewidening of the net of formal social control over juveniles.
6.Scope of discretion
6.1In view of thevarying special needs of juveniles as well as the variety of measuresavailable, appropriate scope for discretion shall be allowed at all stages ofproceedings and at the different levels of juvenile justice administration,including investigation, prosecution, adjudication and the follow-up ofdispositions.
6.2Efforts shallbe made, however, to ensure sufficient accountability at all stages and levelsin the exercise of any such discretion.
6.3Those whoexercise discretion shall be specially qualified or trained to exercise itjudiciously and in accordance with their functions and mandates.
Rules 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 combine several important features ofeffective, fair and humane juvenile justice administration: the need to permitthe exercise of discretionary power at all significant levels of processing sothat those who make determinations can take the actions deemed to be mostappropriate in each individual case; and the need to provide checks andbalances in order to curb any abuses of discretionary power and to safeguardthe rights of the young offender. Accountability and professionalism areinstruments best apt to curb broad discretion. Thus, professionalqualifications and expert training are emphasized here as a valuable means ofensuring the judicious exercise of discretion in matters of juvenile offenders.(See also rules 1.6 and 2.2.) The formulation of specific guidelines on theexercise of discretion and the provision of systems of review, appeal and thelike in order to permit scrutiny of decisions and accountability are emphasizedin this context. Such mechanisms are not specified here, as they do not easilylend themselves to incorporation into international standard minimum rules,which cannot possibly cover all differences in justice systems.
7.Rights of juveniles
7.1Basicprocedural safeguards such as the presumption of innocence, the right to benotified of the charges, the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, theright to the presence of a parent or guardian, the right to confront andcross-examine witnesses and the right to appeal to a higher authority shall beguaranteed at all stages of proceedings.
Rule 7.1 emphasizes some important points that representessential elements for a fair and just trial and that are internationallyrecognized in existing human rights instruments. (See also rule 14.) Thepresumption of innocence, for instance, is also to be found in article 11 ofthe Universal Declaration of Human rights and in article 14, paragraph 2, ofthe International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Rules 14 seq. ofthese Standard Minimum Rules specify issues that are important for proceedingsin juvenile cases, in particular, while rule 7.1 affirms the most basicprocedural safeguards in a general way.
8.Protection of privacy
8.1The juvenile'sright to privacy shall be respected at all stages in order to avoid harm beingcaused to her or him by undue publicity or by the process of labeling.
8.2In principle,no information that may lead to the identification of a juvenile offender shallbe published.
Rule 8 stresses the importance of the protection of thejuvenile's right to privacy. Young persons are particularly susceptible tostigmatization. Criminological research into labeling processes has providedevidence of the detrimental effects (of different kinds) resulting from thepermanent identification of young persons as"delinquent"or"criminal".
Rule 8 stresses the importance of protecting the juvenilefrom the adverse effects that may result from the publication in the mass mediaof information about the case (for example the names of young offenders,alleged or convicted). The interest of the individual should be protected andupheld, at least in principle. (The general contents of rule 8 are furtherspecified in rule 2 1.)
9.1Nothing inthese Rules shall be interpreted as precluding the application of the StandardMinimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted by the United Nations andother human rights instruments and standards recognized by the internationalcommunity that relate to the care and protection of the young.
Rule 9 is meant to avoid any misunderstanding ininterpreting and implementing the present Rules in conformity with principlescontained in relevant existing or emerging international human rightsinstruments and standards-such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Declaration ofthe Rights of the Child and the draft convention on the rights of the child. Itshould be understood that the application of the present Rules is withoutprejudice to any such international instruments which may contain provisions ofwider application. (See also rule 27.)
INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION
10.1Upon theapprehension of a juvenile, her or his parents or guardian shall be immediatelynotified of such apprehension, and, where such immediate notification is notpossible, the parents or guardian shall be notified within the shortestpossible time thereafter.
10.2A judge orother competent official or body shall, without delay, consider the issue ofrelease.
10.3Contactsbetween the law enforcement agencies and a juvenile offender shall be managedin such a way as to respect the legal status of the juvenile, promote thewell-being of the juvenile and avoid harm to her or him, with due regard to thecircumstances of the case.
Rule 10.1 is in principle contained in rule 92 of theStandard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
The question of release (rule 10.2) shall be consideredwithout delay by a judge or other competent official. The latter refers to anyperson or institution in the broadest sense of the term, including communityboards or police authorities having power to release an arrested person. (Seealso the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 9,paragraph 3.)
Rule 10.3 deals with some fundamental aspects of theprocedures and behavior on the part of the police and other law enforcementofficials in cases of juvenile crime. To"avoid harm"admittedly isflexible wording and covers many features of possible interaction (for examplethe use of harsh language, physical violence or exposure to the environment).Involvement in juvenile justice processes in itself can be"harmful"to juveniles; the term"avoid harm"should be broadly interpreted,therefore, as doing the least harm possible to the juvenile in the firstinstance, as well as any additional or undue harm. This is especially importantin the initial contact with law enforcement agencies, which might profoundlyinfluence the juvenile's attitude towards the State and society. Moreover, thesuccess of any further intervention is largely dependent on such initialcontacts. Compassion and kind firmness are important in these situations.
11.1Considerationshall be given, wherever appropriate, to dealing with juvenile offenderswithout resorting to formal trial by the competent authority, referred to inrule 14.1 below.
11.2The police, theprosecution or other agencies dealing with juvenile cases shall be empowered todispose of such cases, at their discretion, without recourse to formalhearings, in accordance with the criteria laid down for that purpose in therespective legal system and also in accordance with the principles contained inthese Rules.
11.3Any diversioninvolving referral to appropriate community or other services shall require theconsent of the juvenile, or her or his parents or guardian, provided that suchdecision to refer a case shall be subject to review by a competent authority,upon application.
11.4In order tofacilitate the discretionary disposition of juvenile cases, efforts shall bemade to provide for community programmes, such as temporary supervision andguidance, restitution, and compensation of victims.
Diversion, involving removal from criminal justiceprocessing and, frequently, redirection to community support services, iscommonly practiced on a formal and informal basis in many legal systems. Thispractice serves to hinder the negative effects of subsequent proceedings injuvenile justice administration (for example the stigma of conviction andsentence). In many cases, non-intervention would be the best response. Thus,diversion at the outset and without referral to alternative (social) servicesmay be the optimal response. This is especially the case where the offense isof a non-serious nature and where the family, the school or other informalsocial control institutions have already reacted, or are likely to react, in anappropriate and constructive manner.
As stated in rule 11.2, diversion may be used at any pointof decision-making-by the police, the prosecution or other agencies such as thecourts, tribunals, boards or councils. It may be exercised by one authority orseveral or all authorities, according to the rules and policies of therespective systems and in line with the present Rules. It need not necessarilybe limited to petty cases, thus rendering diversion an important instrument.
Rule 11.3 stresses the important requirement of securing theconsent of the young offender (or the parent or guardian) to the recommendeddiversionary measure(s). (Diversion to community service without such consentwould contradict the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention.) However, thisconsent should not be left unchallengeable, since it might sometimes be givenout of sheer desperation on the part of the juvenile. The rule underlines thatcare should be taken to minimize the potential for coercion and intimidation atall levels in the diversion process. Juveniles should not feel pressured (forexample in order to avoid court appearance) or be pressured into consenting todiversion programmes. Thus, it is advocated that provision should be made foran objective appraisal of the appropriateness of dispositions involving youngoffenders by a"competent authority upon application". (The"competent authority,' may be different from that referred to in rule 14.)
Rule 11.4 recommends the provision of viable alternatives tojuvenile justice processing in the form of community-based diversion.Programmes that involve settlement by victim restitution and those that seek toavoid future conflict with the law through temporary supervision and guidanceare especially commended. The merits of individual cases would make diversionappropriate, even when more serious offenses have been committed (for examplefirst offense, the act having been committed under peer pressure, etc.).
12.Specialization within thepolice
12.1In order tobest fulfil their functions, police officers who frequently or exclusively dealwith juveniles or who are primarily engaged in the prevention of juvenile crimeshall be specially instructed and trained. In large cities, special policeunits should be established for that purpose.
Rule 12 draws attention to the need for specialized trainingfor all law enforcement officials who are involved in the administration ofjuvenile justice. As police are the first point of contact with the juvenilejustice system, it is most important that they act in an informed andappropriate manner.
While the relationship between urbanization and crime isclearly complex, an increase in juvenile crime has been associated with thegrowth of large cities, particularly with rapid and unplanned growth.Specialized police units would therefore be indispensable, not only in theinterest of implementing specific principles contained in the presentinstrument (such as rule 1.6) but more generally for improving the preventionand control of juvenile crime and the handling of juvenile offenders.
13.Detention pending trial
13.1Detentionpending trial shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for theshortest possible period of time.
13.2Wheneverpossible, detention pending trial shall be replaced by alternative measures,such as close supervision, intensive care or placement with a family or in aneducational setting or home.
13.3Juveniles underdetention pending trial shall be entitled to all rights and guarantees of theStandard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted by the UnitedNations.
13.4Juveniles underdetention pending trial shall be kept separate from adults and shall bedetained in a separate institution or in a separate part of an institution alsoholding adults.
13.5While incustody, juveniles shall receive care, protection and all necessary individualassistance-social, educational, vocational, psychological, medical andphysical-that they may require in view of their age, sex and personality.
The danger to juveniles of"criminal contamination"while in detention pending trial must not be underestimated. It is thereforeimportant to stress the need for alternative measures. By doing so, rule 13.1encourages the devising of new and innovative measures to avoid such detentionin the interest of the well-being of the juvenile. Juveniles under detentionpending trial are entitled to all the rights and guarantees of the StandardMinimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners as well as the InternationalCovenant on Civil and Political Rights, especially article 9 and article 10,paragraphs 2 (b) and 3.
Rule 13.4 does not prevent States from taking other measuresagainst the negative influences of adult offenders which are at least aseffective as the measures mentioned in the rule.
Different forms of assistance that may become necessary havebeen enumerated to draw attention to the broad range of particular needs ofyoung detainees to be addressed (for example females or males, drug addicts,alcoholics, mentally ill juveniles, young persons suffering from the trauma,for example, of arrest, etc.).
Varying physical and psychological characteristics of youngdetainees may warrant classification measures by which some are kept separatewhile in detention pending trial, thus contributing to the avoidance ofvictimization and rendering more appropriate assistance.
The Sixth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crimeand the Treatment of Offenders, in its resolution 4 on juvenile justicestandards, specified that the Rules, inter alia, should reflect the basicprinciple that pre-trial detention should be used only as a last resort, thatno minors should be held in a facility where they are vulnerable to thenegative influences of adult detainees and that account should always be takenof the needs particular to their stage of development.
ADJUDICATION AND DISPOSITION
14.Competent authority toadjudicate
14.1Where the caseof a juvenile offender has not been diverted (under rule 11), she or he shallbe dealt with by the competent authority (court, tribunal, board, council,etc.) according to the principles of a fair and just trial.
14.2The proceedingsshall be conducive to the best interests of the juvenile and shall be conductedin an atmosphere of understanding, which shall allow the juvenile toparticipate therein and to express herself or himself freely.
It is difficult to formulate a definition of the competentbody or person that would universally describe an adjudicating authority."Competent authority"is meant to include those who preside overcourts or tribunals (composed of a single judge or of several members),including professional and lay magistrates as well as administrative boards(for example the Scottish and Scandinavian systems) or other more informalcommunity and conflict resolution agencies of an adjudicatory nature. Theprocedure for dealing with juvenile offenders shall in any case follow theminimum standards that are applied almost universally for any criminaldefendant under the procedure known as"due process of law". Inaccordance with due process, a"fair and just trial"includes suchbasic safeguards as the presumption of innocence, the presentation andexamination of witnesses, the common legal defenses, the right to remainsilent, the right to have the last word in a hearing, the right to appeal, etc.(See also rule 7.1.)
15.Legal counsel, parents andguardians
15.1Throughout theproceedings the juvenile shall have the right to be represented by a legaladviser or to apply for free legal aid where there is provision for such aid inthe country.
15.2The parents orthe guardian shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings and may berequired by the competent authority to attend them in the interest of thejuvenile. They may, however, be denied participation by the competent authorityif there are reasons to assume that such exclusion is necessary in the interestof the juvenile.
Rule 15.1 uses terminology similar to that found in rule 93of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Whereas legalcounsel and free legal aid are needed to assure the juvenile legal assistance,the right of the parents or guardian to participate as stated in rule 15.2should be viewed as general psychological and emotional assistance to thejuvenile-a function extending throughout the procedure.
The competent authority's search for an adequate dispositionof the case may pro fit, in particular, fro m the co-operation of the legalrepresentatives of the juvenile (or, for that matter, some other personalassistant who the juvenile can and does really trust). Such concern can bethwarted if the presence of parents or guardians at the hearings plays anegative role, for instance, if they display a hostile attitude towards thejuvenile, hence, the possibility of their exclusion must be provided for.
16.Social inquiry reports
16.1In all casesexcept those involving minor offenses, before the competent authority renders afinal disposition prior to sentencing, the background and circumstances inwhich the juvenile is living or the conditions under which the offense has beencommitted shall be properly investigated so as to facilitate judicious adjudicationof the case by the competent authority.
Social inquiry reports (social reports or pre-sentencereports) are an indispensable aid in most legal proceedings involvingjuveniles. The competent authority should be informed of relevant facts aboutthe juvenile, such as social an d family background, school career, educationalexperiences, etc. For this purpose, some jurisdictions use special socialservices or personnel attached to the court or board. Other personnel,including probation officers, may serve the same function. The rule thereforerequires that adequate social services should be available to deliver socialinquiry reports of a qualified nature.
17.Guiding principles inadjudication and disposition
17.1The dispositionof the competent authority shall be guided by the following principles:
(a)The reactiontaken shall always be in proportion not only to the circumstances and thegravity of the offense but also to the circumstances and the needs of thejuvenile as well as to the needs of the society;
(b)Restrictions onthe personal liberty of the juvenile shall be imposed only after carefulconsideration and shall be limited to the possible minimum;
(c)Deprivation ofpersonal liberty shall not be imposed unless the juvenile is adjudicated of aserious act involving violence against another person or of persistence incommitting other serious offenses and unless there is no other appropriateresponse;
(d)The well-being ofthe juvenile shall be the guiding factor in the consideration of her or hiscase. 17.2 Capital punishment shall not be imposed for any crime committed byjuveniles.
17.3Juveniles shallnot be subject to corporal punishment.
17.4The competentauthority shall have the power to discontinue the proceedings at any time.
The main difficulty in formulating guidelines for theadjudication of young persons stems from the fact that there are unresolvedconflicts of a philosophical nature, such as the following:
(a)Rehabilitationversus just desert;
(b)Assistanceversus repression and punishment;
(c)Reactionaccording to the singular merits of an individual case versus reactionaccording to the protection of society in general;
(d)Generaldeterrence versus individual incapacitation.
The conflict between these approaches is more pronounced injuvenile cases than in adult cases. With the variety of causes and reactionscharacterizing juvenile cases, these alternatives become intricatelyinterwoven.
It is not the function of the Standard Minimum Rules for theAdministration of Juvenile Justice to prescribe which approach is to befollowed but rather to identify one that is most closely in consonance withinternationally accepted principles. Therefore the essential elements as laiddown in rule 17.1 , in particular in subparagraphs (a) and (c), are mainly tobe understood as practical guidelines that should ensure a common startingpoint; if heeded by the concerned authorities (see also rule 5), they couldcontribute considerably to ensuring that the fundamental rights of juvenileoffenders are protected, especially the fundamental rights of personaldevelopment and education.
Rule 17.1 (b) implies that strictly punitive approaches arenot appropriate. Whereas in adult cases, and possibly also in cases of severeoffenses by juveniles, just desert and retributive sanctions might beconsidered to have some merit, in juvenile cases such considerations shouldalways be outweighed by the interest of safeguarding the well-being and thefuture of the young person.
In line with resolution 8 of the Sixth United NationsCongress, rule 17.1 (b) encourages the use of alternatives toinstitutionalization to the maximum extent possible, bearing in mind the needto respond to the specific requirements of the young. Thus, full use should bemade of the range of existing alternative sanctions and new alternativesanctions should be developed, bearing the public safety in mind. Probationshould be granted to the greatest possible extent via suspended sentences,conditional sentences, board orders and other dispositions.
Rule 17.1 (c) corresponds to one of the guiding principlesin resolution 4 of the Sixth Congress which aims at avoiding incarceration inthe case of juveniles unless there is no other appropriate response that willprotect the public safety.
The provision prohibiting capital punishment in rule 17.2 isin accordance with article 6, paragraph 5, of the International Covenant onCivil and Political Rights.
The provision against corporal punishment is in line witharticle 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and theDeclaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Tortureand Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as well as theConvention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment orPunishment and the draft convention on the rights of the child.
The power to discontinue the proceedings at any time (rule17.4) is a characteristic inherent in the handling of juvenile offenders asopposed to adults. At any time, circumstances may become known to the competentauthority which would make a complete cessation of the intervention appear tobe the best disposition of the case.
18.Various disposition measures
18.1A large varietyof disposition measures shall be made available to the competent authority,allowing for flexibility so as to avoid institutionalization to the greatestextent possible. Such measures, some of which may be combined, include:
(a)Care, guidanceand supervision orders;
(d)Financialpenalties, compensation and restitution;
(e)Intermediatetreatment and other treatment orders;
(f)Orders toparticipate in group counseling and similar activities;
(g)Orders concerningfoster care, living communities or other educational settings;
18.2No juvenileshall be removed from parental supervision, whether partly or entire l y,unless the circumstances of her or his case make this necessary.
Rule 18.1 attempts to enumerate some of the importantreactions and sanctions that have been practiced and proved successful thusfar, in different legal systems. On the whole they represent promising opinionsthat deserve replication and further development. The rule does not enumeratestaffing requirements because of possible shortages of adequate staff in someregions; in those regions measures requiring less staff may be tried ordeveloped.
The examples given in rule 18.1 have in common, above all, areliance on and an appeal to the community for the effective implementation ofalternative dispositions. Community-based correction is a traditional measurethat has taken on many aspects. On that basis, relevant authorities should beencouraged to offer community-based services.
Rule 18.2 points to the importance of the family which,according to article 10, paragraph l, of the International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights, is"the natural and fundamentalgroup unit of society". Within the family, the parents have not only theright but also the responsibility to care for and supervise their children.Rule 18.2, therefore, requires that the separation of children from theirparents is a measure of last resort. It may be resorted to only when the factsof the case clearly warrant this grave step (for example child abuse).
19.Least possible use ofinstitutionalization
19.1The placementof a juvenile in an institution shall always be a disposition of last resortand for the minimum necessary period.
Progressive criminology advocates the use ofnon-institutional over institutional treatment. Little or no difference hasbeen found in terms of the success of institutionalization as compared tonon-institutionalization. The many adverse influences on an individual thatseem unavoidable within any institutional setting evidently cannot beoutbalanced by treatment efforts. This is especially the case for juveniles,who are vulnerable to negative influences. Moreover, the negative effects, notonly of loss of liberty but also of separation from the usual socialenvironment, are certainly more acute for juveniles than for adults because oftheir early stage of development.
Rule 19 aims at restricting institutionalization in tworegards: in quantity ("last resort,,) and in time ("minimum necessaryperiod"). Rule 19 reflects one of the basic guiding principles ofresolution 4 of the Sixth United Nations Congress: a juvenile offender shouldnot be incarcerated unless there is no other appropriate response. The rule, therefore,makes the appeal that if a juvenile must be institutionalized, the loss ofliberty should be restricted to the least possible degree, with specialinstitutional arrangements for confinement and bearing in mind the differencesin kinds of offenders, offenses and institutions. In fact, priority should begiven to"open"over"closed"institutions. Furthermore,any facility should be of a correctional or educational rather than of a prisontype.
20.Avoidance of unnecessarydelay
20.1Each case shallfrom the outset be handled expeditiously, without any unnecessary delay.
The speedy conduct of formal procedures in juvenile cases isa paramount concern. Otherwise whatever good may be achieved by the procedureand the disposition is at risk. As time passes, the juvenile will find itincreasingly difficult, if not impossible, to relate the procedure anddisposition to the offense, both intellectually and psychologically.
21.1Records ofjuvenile offenders shall be kept strictly confidential and closed to thirdparties. Access to such records shall be limited to persons directly concernedwith the disposition of the case at hand or other duly authorized persons.
21.2Records ofjuvenile offenders shall not be used in adult proceedings in subsequent casesinvolving the same offender.
The ruleattempts to achieve a balance between conflicting interests connected withrecords or files: those of the police, prosecution and other authorities inimproving control versus the interests of the juvenile offender. (See also rule8.)"Other duly authorized persons"would generally include amongothers, researchers.
22.Need for professionalism andtraining
22.1Professionaleducation, in-service training, refresher courses and other appropriate modesof instruction shall be utilized to establish and maintain the necessaryprofessional competence of all personnel dealing with juvenile cases.
22.2Juvenilejustice personnel shall reflect the diversity of juveniles who come intocontact with the juvenile justice system. Efforts shall be made to ensure thefair representation of women and minorities in juvenile justice agencies.
The authorities competent for disposition may be personswith very different backgrounds (magistrates in the United Kingdom of GreatBritain and Northern Ireland and in regions influenced by the common lawsystem; legally trained judges in countries using Roman law and in regionsinfluenced by them; and elsewhere elected or appointed laymen or jurists, membersof community-based boards, etc.). For all these authorities, a minimum trainingin law, sociology, psychology, criminology and behavioral sciences would berequired. This is considered as important as the organizational specializationand independence of the competent authority.
For social workers and probation officers, it might not befeasible to require professional specialization as a prerequisite for takingover any function dealing with juvenile offenders. Thus, professional on-thejob instruction would be minimum qualifications.
Professional qualifications are an essential element inensuring the impartial and effective administration of juvenile justice.Accordingly, it is necessary to improve the recruitment, advancement andprofessional training of personnel and to provide them with the necessary meansto enable them to properly fulfil their functions.
All political, social, sexual, racial, religious, culturalor any other kind of discrimination in the selection, appointment andadvancement of juvenile justice personnel should be avoided in order to achieveimpartiality in the administration of juvenile justice. This was recommended bythe Sixth Congress. Furthermore, the Sixth Congress called on Member States toensure the fair and equal treatment of women as criminal justice personnel andrecommended that special measures should be taken to recruit, train andfacilitate the advancement of female personnel in juvenile justiceadministration.
23.Effective implementation ofdisposition
23.1Appropriateprovisions shall be made for the implementation of orders of the competentauthority, as referred to in rule 14.1 above, by that authority itself or bysome other authority as circumstances may require
23.2Such provisionsshall include the power to modify the orders as the competent authority maydeem necessary from time to time, provided that such modification shall bedetermined in accordance with the principles contained in these Rules.
Disposition in juvenile cases, more so than in adult cases,tends to influence the offender's life for a long period of time. Thus, it isimportant that the competent authority or an independent body (parole board,probation office, youth welfare institutions or others) with qualificationsequal to those of the competent authority that originally disposed of the caseshould monitor the implementation of the disposition. In some countries, a jugede l'execution des peines has been installed for this purpose.
The composition, powers and functions of the authority mustbe flexible; they are described in general terms in rule 23 in order to ensurewide acceptability.
24.Provision of neededassistance
24.1Efforts shallbe made to provide juveniles, at all stages of the proceedings, with necessaryassistance such as lodging, education or vocational training, employment or anyother assistance, helpful and practical, in order to facilitate therehabilitative process.
The promotion of the well-being of the juvenile is ofparamount consideration. Thus, rule 24 emphasizes the importance of providingrequisite facilities, services and other necessary assistance as may furtherthe best interests of the juvenile throughout the rehabilitative process.
25.Mobilization of volunteersand other community services
25.1Volunteers,voluntary organizations, local institutions and other community resources shallbe called upon to contribute effectively to the rehabilitation of the juvenilein a community setting and, as far as possible, within the family unit.
This rule reflects the need for a rehabilitative orientationof all work with juvenile offenders. Co-operation with the community isindispensable if the directives of the competent authority are to be carriedout effectively. Volunteers and voluntary services, in particular, have provedto be valuable resources but are at present underutilized. In some instances,the co-operation of ex-offenders (including ex-addicts) can be of considerableassistance.
Rule 25 emanates from the principles laid down in rules 1.1to 1.6 and follows the relevantprovisions of the International Covenant onCivil and Political Rights.
26.Objectives of institutionaltreatment
26.1The objectiveof training and treatment of juveniles placed in institutions is to providecare, protection, education and vocational skills, with a view to assistingthem to assume socially constructive and productive roles in society.
26.2Juveniles ininstitutions shall receive care, protection and all necessaryassistance-social, educational, vocational, psychological, medical andphysical-that they may require because of their age, sex, and personality andin the interest of their wholesome development.
26.3Juveniles ininstitutions shall be kept separate from adults and shall be detained in aseparate institution or in a separate part of an institution also holdingadults.
26.4Young femaleoffenders placed in an institution deserve special attention as to theirpersonal needs and problems. They shall by no means receive less care,protection, assistance, treatment and training than young male offenders. Theirfair treatment shall be ensured.
26.5In the interestand well-being of the institutionalized juvenile, the parents or guardiansshall have a right of access.
26.6Inter-ministerialand inter-departmental co-operation shall be fostered for the purpose ofproviding adequate academic or, as appropriate, vocational training toinstitutionalized juveniles, with a view to ensuring that they do no leave theinstitution at an educational disadvantage.
The objectives of institutional treatment as stipulated inrules 26.1 and 26.2 would be acceptable to any system and culture. However,they have not yet been attained everywhere, and much more has to be done inthis respect.
Medical and psychological assistance, in particular, areextremely important for institutionalized drug addicts, violent and mentallyill young persons.
The avoidance of negative influences through adult offendersand the safeguarding of the well-being of juveniles in an institutionalsetting, as stipulated in rule 26.3, are in line with one of the basic guidingprinciples of the Rules, as set out by the Sixth Congress in its resolution 4.The rule does not prevent States from taking other measures against thenegative influences of adult offenders, which are at least as effective as themeasures mentioned in the rule. (See also rule 13.4)
Rule 26.4 addresses the fact that female offenders normallyreceive less attention than their male counterparts. as pointed out by theSixth Congress. In particular, resolution 9 of the Sixth Congress calls for thefair treatment of female offenders at every stage of criminal justice processesand for special attention to their particular problems and needs while incustody. Moreover, this rule should also be considered in the light of theCaracas Declaration of the Sixth Congress, which, inter alia, calls for equaltreatment in criminal justice administration, and against the background of theDeclaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and theConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
The right of access (rule 26.5) follows from the provisionsof rules 7.1, 10.1, 15.2 and 18.2. Inter-ministerial and inter-departmentalco-operation (rule 26.6) are of particular importance in the interest ofgenerally enhancing the quality of institutional treatment and training.
27.Application of the StandardMinimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted by the United Nations
27.1The StandardMinimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and related recommendations shallbe applicable as far as relevant to the treatment of juvenile offenders ininstitutions, including those in detention pending adjudication.
27.2Efforts shallbe made to implement the relevant principles laid down in the Standard MinimumRules for the Treatment of Prisoners to the largest possible extent so as tomeet the varying needs of juveniles specific to their age, sex and personality.
The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisonerswere among the first instruments of this kind to be promulgated by the UnitedNations. It is generally agreed that they have had a world-wide impact.Although there are still countries where implementation is more an aspirationthan a fact, those Standard Minimum Rules continue to be an important influencein the humane and equitable administration of correctional institutions.
Some essential protections covering juvenile offenders ininstitutions are contained in the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment ofPrisoners (accommodation, architecture, bedding, clothing, complaints andrequests, contact with the outside world, food, medical care, religious service,separation of ages, staffing, work, etc.) as are provisions concerningpunishment and discipline, and restraint for dangerous offenders. It would notbe appropriate to modify those Standard Minimum Rules according to theparticular characteristics of institutions for juvenile offenders within thescope of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice.
Rule 27 focuses on the necessary requirements for juvenilesin institutions (rule 27.1) as well as on the varying needs specific to theirage, sex and personality (rule 27.2). Thus, the objectives and content of therule interrelate to the relevant provisions of the Standard Minimum Rules forthe Treatment of Prisoners.
28.Frequent and early recourseto conditional release
28.1Conditionalrelease from an institution shall be used by the appropriate authority to thegreatest possible extent, and shall be granted at the earliest possible time.
28.2Juvenilesreleased conditionally from an institution shall be assisted and supervised byan appropriate authority and shall receive full support by the community.
The power to order conditional release may rest with thecompetent authority, as mentioned in rule 14.1 or with some other authority. Inview of this, it is adequate to refer here to the"appropriate,' ratherthan to the"competent"authority.
Circumstances permitting, conditional release shall bepreferred to serving a full sentence. Upon evidence of satisfactory progresstowards rehabilitation, even offenders who had been deemed dangerous at thetime of their institutionalization can be conditionally released wheneverfeasible. Like probation , such release may be conditional on the satisfactoryfulfilment of the requirements specified by the relevant authorities for a periodof time established in the decision, for example relating to"goodbehavior"of the offender, attendance in community programmes, residencein half-way houses, etc.
In the case of offenders conditionally released from aninstitution, assistance and supervision by a probation or other officer(particularly where probation has not yet been adopted) should be provided andcommunity support should be encouraged.
29.1Efforts shallbe made to provide semi-institutional arrangements, such as half-way houses,educational homes, day-time training centers and other such appropriatearrangements that may assist juveniles in their proper reintegration intosociety.
The importance of care following a period of institutionalizationshould not be underestimated. This rule emphasizes the necessity of forming anet of semi-institutional arrangements.
This rule also emphasizes the need for a diverse range offacilities and services designed to meet the different needs of young offendersre-entering the community and to provide guidance and structural support as animportant step towards successful reintegration into society.
RESEARCH, PLANNING, POLICY FORMULATION AND EVALUATION
30.Research as a basis forplanning, policy formulation and evaluation
30.1Efforts shallbe made to organize and promote necessary research as a basis for effectiveplanning and policy formulation.
30.2Efforts shallbe made to review and appraise periodically the trends, problems and causes of juveniledelinquency and crime as well as the varying particular needs of juveniles incustody.
30.3Efforts shallbe made to establish a regular evaluative research mechanism built into thesystem of juvenile justice administration and to collect and analyze relevantdata and information for appropriate assessment and future improvement andreform of the administration.
30.4The delivery ofservices in juvenile justice administration shall be systematically planned andimplemented as an integral part of national development efforts.
The utilization of research as a basis for an informedjuvenile justice policy is widely acknowledged as an important mechanism forkeeping practices abreast of advances in knowledge and the continuingdevelopment and improvement of the juvenile justice system. The mutual feedbackbetween research and policy is especially important in juvenile justice. Withrapid and often drastic changes in the life-styles of the young and in theforms and dimensions of juvenile crime, the societal and justice responses tojuvenile crime and delinquency quickly become outmoded and inadequate.
Rule 30 thus establishes standards for integrating researchinto the process of policy formulation and application in juvenile justiceadministration. The rule draws particular attention to the need for regularreview and evaluation of existing programmes and measures and for planningwithin the broader context of overall development objectives.
A constant appraisal of the needs of juveniles, as well asthe trends and problems of delinquency, is a prerequisite for improving themethods of formulating appropriate policies and establishing adequateinterventions, at both formal and informal levels. In this context, research byindependent persons and bodies should be facilitated by responsible agencies,and it may be valuable to obtain and to take into account the views ofjuveniles themselves, not only those who come into contact with the system.
The process of planning must particularly emphasize a moreeffective and equitable system for the delivery of necessary services. Towardsthat end, there should be a comprehensive and regular assessment of thewide-ranging, particular needs and problems of juveniles and an identificationof clear-cut priori ties. In that connection, there should also be aco-ordination in the use of existing resources, including alternatives andcommunity support that would be suitable in setting up specific proceduresdesigned to implement and monitor established programmes.
United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency
United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of JuvenileDelinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines), G.A. Res. 45/112, annex, 45 U.N. GAORSupp. (No. 49A), p. 201, U.N. Doc. A/45/49 (1990).
1.The preventionof juvenile delinquency is an essential part of crime prevention in society. Byengaging in lawful, socially useful activities and adopting a humanisticorientation towards society and outlook on life, young persons can developnon-criminogenic attitudes.
2.The successfulprevention of juvenile delinquency requires efforts on the part of the entiresociety to ensure the harmonious development of adolescents, with respect forand promotion of their personality from early childhood.
3.For thepurposes of the interpretation of the present Guidelines, a child-centeredorientation should be pursued. Young persons should have an active role andpartnership within society and should not be considered as mere objects ofsocialization or control.
4.In theimplementation of the present Guidelines, in accordance with national legalsystems, the well-being of young persons from their early childhood should bethe focus of any preventive programme.
5.The need forand importance of progressive delinquency prevention policies and thesystematic study and the elaboration of measures should be recognized. Theseshould avoid criminalizing and penalizing a child for behavior that does notcause serious damage to the development of the child or harm to others. Suchpolicies and measures should involve:
(a)The provision ofopportunities, in particular educational opportunities, to meet the varyingneeds of young persons and to serve as a supportive framework for safeguardingthe personal development of all young persons, particularly those who aredemonstrably endangered or at social risk and are in need of special care andprotection;
(b)Specializedphilosophies and approaches for delinquency prevention, on the basis of laws,processes, institutions, facilities and a service delivery network aimed atreducing the motivation, need and opportunity for, or conditions giving riseto, the commission of infractions;
(c)Officialintervention to be pursued primarily in the overall interest of the youngperson and guided by fairness and equity;
(d)Safeguarding thewell-being, development, rights and interests of all young persons;
(e)Considerationthat youthful behavior or conduct that does not conform to overall social normsand values is often part of the maturation and growth process and tends todisappear spontaneously in most individuals with the transition to adulthood;
(f)Awareness that,in the predominant opinion of experts, labeling a young person as"deviant'',"delinquent"or"pre-delinquent"oftencontributes to the development of a consistent pattern of undesirable behaviorby young persons.
6.Community-basedservices and programmes should be developed for the prevention of juveniledelinquency, particularly where no agencies have yet been established. Formalagencies of social control should only be utilized as a means of last resort.
II.SCOPE OFTHE GUIDELINES
7.The presentGuidelines should be interpreted and implemented within the broad framework ofthe Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil andPolitical Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Conventionon the Rights of the Child, and in the context of the United Nations StandardMinimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules),as well as other instruments and norms relating to the rights, interests andwell-being of all children and young persons.
8.The presentGuidelines should also be implemented in the context of the economic, socialand cultural conditions prevailing in each Member State.
9.Comprehensiveprevention plans should be instituted at every level of Government and includethe following:
(a)In-depth analysesof the problem and inventories of programmes, services, facilities andresources available;
(b)Well-definedresponsibilities for the qualified agencies, institutions and personnelinvolved in preventive efforts;
(c)Mechanisms forthe appropriate co-ordination of prevention efforts between governmental andnon-governmental agencies;
(d)Policies,programmes and strategies based on prognostic studies to be continuouslymonitored and carefully evaluated in the course of implementation;
(e)Methods foreffectively reducing the opportunity to commit delinquent acts;
(f)Communityinvolvement through a wide range of services and programmes;
(g)Closeinterdisciplinary co-operation between national, State, provincial and localgovernments, with the involvement of the private sector representative citizensof the community to be served, and labor, child-care, health education, social,law enforcement and judicial agencies in taking concerted action to preventjuvenile delinquency and youth crime;
(h)Youthparticipation in delinquency prevention policies and processes, includingrecourse to community resources, youth self-help, and victim compensation andassistance programmes;
(i)Specializedpersonnel at all levels.
10.Emphasisshould be placed on preventive policies facilitating the successfulsocialization and integration of all children and young persons, in particularthrough the family, the community, peer groups, schools, vocational trainingand the world of work, as well as through voluntary organizations. Due respectshould be given to the proper personal development of children and youngpersons, and they should be accepted as full and equal partners insocialization and integration processes.
11.Every societyshould place a high priority on the needs and well-being of the family and ofall its members.
12.Since thefamily is the central unit responsible for the primary socialization ofchildren, governmental and social efforts to preserve the integrity of thefamily, including the extended family, should be pursued. The society has aresponsibility to assist the family in providing care and protection and inensuring the physical and mental well-being of children. Adequate arrangements includingday-care should be provided.
13.Governmentsshould establish policies that are conducive to the bringing up of children instable and settled family environments. Families in need of assistance in theresolution of conditions of instability or conflict should be provided withrequisite services.
14.Where a stableand settled family environment is lacking and when community efforts to assistparents in this regard have failed and the extended family cannot fulfil thisrole, alternative placements, including foster care and adoption, should beconsidered. Such placements should replicate, to the extent possible, a stableand settled family environment, while, at the same time, establishing a senseof permanency for children, thus avoiding problems associated with"fosterdrift".
15.Specialattention should be given to children of families affected by problems broughtabout by rapid and uneven economic, social and cultural change, in particularthe children of indigenous, migrant and refugee families. As such changes maydisrupt the social capacity of the family to secure the traditional rearing andnurturing of children, often as a result of role and culture conflict,innovative and socially constructive modalities for the socialization ofchildren have to be designed.
16.Measuresshould be taken and programmes developed to provide families with theopportunity to learn about parental roles and obligations as regards childdevelopment and child care, promoting positive parent-child relationships, sensitizingparents to the problems of children and young persons and encouraging theirinvolvement in family and community-based activities.
17.Governmentsshould take measures to promote family cohesion and harmony and to discouragethe separation of children from their parents, unless circumstances affectingthe welfare and future of the child leave no viable alternative.
18.It isimportant to emphasize the socialization function of the family and extendedfamily; it is also equally important to recognize the future role,responsibilities, participation and partnership of young persons in society.
19.In ensuringthe right of the child to proper socialization, Governments and other agenciesshould rely on existing social and legal agencies, but, whenever traditionalinstitutions and customs are no longer effective, they should also provide andallow for innovative measures.
20.Governmentsare under an obligation to make public education accessible to all youngpersons.
21.Educationsystems should, in addition to their academic and vocational trainingactivities, devote particular attention to the following:
(a)Teaching of basicvalues and developing respect for the child's own cultural identity andpatterns, for the social values of the country in which the child is living,for civilizations different from the child's own and for human rights andfundamental freedoms;
(b)Promotion anddevelopment of the personality, talents and mental and physical abilities ofyoung people to their fullest potential;
(c)Involvement ofyoung persons as active and effective participants in, rather than mere objectsof, the educational process;
(d)Undertakingactivities that foster a sense of identity with and of belonging to the schooland the community;
(e)Encouragement ofyoung persons to understand and respect diverse views and opinions, as well ascultural and other differences;
(f)Provision ofinformation and guidance regarding vocational training, employmentopportunities and career development;
(g)Provision ofpositive emotional support to young persons and the avoidance of psychologicalmaltreatment;
(h)Avoidance ofharsh disciplinary measures, particularly corporal punishment.
22.Educationalsystems should seek to work together with parents, community organizations andagencies concerned with the activities of young persons.
23.Young personsand their families should be informed about the law and their rights andresponsibilities under the law, as well as the universal value system,including United Nations instruments.
24.Educationalsystems should extend particular care and attention to young persons who are atsocial risk. Specialized prevention programmes and educational materials,curricula, approaches and tools should be developed and fully utilized.
25.Specialattention should be given to comprehensive policies and strategies for theprevention of alcohol, drug and other substance abuse by young persons.Teachers and other professionals should be equipped and trained to prevent anddeal with these problems. Information on the use and abuse of drugs, includingalcohol, should be made available to the student body.
26.Schools shouldserve as resource and referral centers for the provision of medical, counselingand other services to young persons, particularly those with special needs andsuffering from abuse, neglect, victimization and exploitation.
27.Through avariety of educational programmes, teachers and other adults and the studentbody should be sensitized to the problems, needs and perceptions of youngpersons, particularly those belonging to underprivileged, disadvantaged, ethnicor other minority and low-income groups.
28.School systemsshould attempt to meet and promote the highest professional and educationalstandards with respect to curricula, teaching and learning methods andapproaches, and the recruitment and training of qualified teachers. Regularmonitoring and assessment of performance by the appropriate professionalorganizations and authorities should be ensured.
29.School systemsshould plan, develop and implement extracurricular activities of interest toyoung persons, in co-operation with community groups.
30.Specialassistance should be given to children and young persons who find it difficultto comply with attendance codes, and to"drop-outs".
31.Schools shouldpromote policies and rules that are fair and just; students should berepresented in bodies formulating school policy, including policy ondiscipline, and decision-making.
32.Community-basedservices and programmes which respond to the special needs, problems, interestsand concerns of young persons and which offer appropriate counseling andguidance to young persons and their families should be developed, orstrengthened where they exist.
33.Communitiesshould provide, or strengthen where they exist, a wide range of community-basedsupport measures for young persons, including community development centers,recreational facilities and services to respond to the special problems ofchildren who are at social risk. In providing these helping measures, respectfor individual rights should be ensured.
34.Specialfacilities should be set up to provide adequate shelter for young persons whoare no longer able to live at home or who do not have homes to live in.
35.A range ofservices and helping measures should be provided to deal with the difficultiesexperienced by young persons in the transition to adulthood. Such servicesshould include special programmes for young drug abusers which emphasize care,counseling, assistance and therapy-oriented interventions.
36.Voluntaryorganizations providing services for young persons should be given financialand other support by Governments and other institutions.
37.Youthorganizations should be created or strengthened at the local level and givenfull participatory status in the management of community affairs. Theseorganizations should encourage youth to organize collective and voluntaryprojects, particularly projects aimed at helping young persons in need ofassistance.
38.Governmentagencies should take special responsibility and provide necessary services forhomeless or street children; information about local facilities, accommodation,employment and other forms and sources of help should be made readily availableto young persons.
39.A wide rangeof recreational facilities and services of particular interest to young personsshould be established and made easily accessible to them.
40.The mass mediashould be encouraged to ensure that young persons have access to informationand material from a diversity of national and international sources.
41.The mass mediashould be encouraged to portray the positive contribution of young persons tosociety.
42.The mass mediashould be encouraged to disseminate information on the existence of services,facilities and opportunities for young persons in society.
43.The mass mediagenerally, and the television and film media in particular, should beencouraged to minimize the level of pornography, drugs and violence portrayedand to display violence and exploitation disfavorably, as well as to avoiddemeaning and degrading presentations, especially of children, women andinterpersonal relations, and to promote egalitarian principles and roles.
44.The mass mediashould be aware of its extensive social role and responsibility, as well as itsinfluence, in communications relating to youthful drug and alcohol abuse. Itshould use its power for drug abuse prevention by relaying consistent messagesthrough a balanced approach. Effective drug awareness campaigns at all levelsshould be promoted.
45.Governmentagencies should give high priority to plans and programmes for young personsand should provide sufficient funds and other resources for the effectivedelivery of services, facilities and staff for adequate medical and mentalhealth care, nutrition, housing and other relevant services, including drug andalcohol abuse prevention and treatment, ensuring that such resources reach and actuallybenefit young persons.
46.Theinstitutionalization of young persons should be a measure of last resort andfor the minimum necessary period, and the best interests of the young personshould be of paramount importance. Criteria authorizing formal intervention ofthis type should be strictly defined and limited to the following situations:
(a)where the childor young person has suffered harm that has been inflicted by the parents orguardians;
(b)where the childor young person has been sexually, physically or emotionally abused by theparents or guardians;
(c)where the childor young person has been neglected, abandoned or exploited by the parents orguardians;
(d)where the childor young person is threatened by physical or moral danger due to the behaviorof the parents or guardians; and
(e)where a seriousphysical or psychological danger to the child or young person has manifesteditself in his or her own behavior and neither the parents, the guardians, thejuvenile himself or herself nor non-residential community services can meet thedanger by means other than institutionalization.
47.Governmentagencies should provide young persons with the opportunity of continuing infull-time education, funded by the State where parents or guardians are unableto support the young persons, and of receiving work experience.
48.Programmes toprevent delinquency should be planned and developed on the basis of reliable,scientific research findings, and periodically monitored, evaluated andadjusted accordingly.
49.Scientificinformation should be disseminated to the professional community and to thepublic at large about the sort of behavior or situation which indicates or mayresult in physical and psychological victimization, harm and abuse, as well asexploitation, of young persons.
50.Generally,participation in plans and programmes should be voluntary. Young personsthemselves should be involved in their formulation, development andimplementation.
51.Governmentshould begin or continue to explore, develop and implement policies, measuresand strategies within and outside the criminal justice system to preventdomestic violence against and affecting young persons and to ensure fairtreatment to these victims of domestic violence.
VI.LEGISLATIONAND JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION
52.Governmentsshould enact and enforce specific laws and procedures to promote and protectthe rights and well-being of all young persons.
53.Legislationpreventing the victimization, abuse, exploitation and the use for criminalactivities of children and young persons should be enacted and enforced.
54.No child oryoung person should be subjected to harsh or degrading correction or punishmentmeasures at home, in schools or in any other institutions.
55.Legislationand enforcement aimed at restricting and controlling accessibility of weaponsof any sort to children and young persons should be pursued.
56.In order toprevent further stigmatization, victimization and criminalization of youngpersons, legislation should be enacted to ensure that any conduct notconsidered an offense or not penalized if committed by an adult is notconsidered an offense and not penalized if committed by a young person.
57.Considerationshould be given to the establishment of an office of ombudsman or similarindependent organ, which would ensure that the status, rights and interests ofyoung persons are upheld and that proper referral to available services ismade. The ombudsman or other organ designated would also supervise theimplementation of the Riyadh Guidelines, the Beijing Rules and the Rules forthe Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty. The ombudsman or otherorgan would, at regular intervals, publish a report on the progress made and onthe difficulties encountered in the implementation of the instrument. Childadvocacy services should also be established.
58.Lawenforcement and other relevant personnel, of both sexes, should be trained torespond to the special needs of young persons and should be familiar with anduse, to the maximum extent possible, programmes and referral possibilities forthe diversion of young persons from the justice system.
59.Legislationshould be enacted and strictly enforced to protect children and young personsfrom drug abuse and drug traffickers.
VII.RESEARCH,POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND CO-ORDINATION
60.Efforts shouldbe made and appropriate mechanisms established to promote, on both amultidisciplinary and an intradisciplinary basis, interaction and co-ordinationbetween economic, social, education and health agencies and services, thejustice system, youth, community and development agencies and other relevantinstitutions.
61.The exchangeof information, experience and expertise gained through projects, programmes,practices and initiatives relating to youth crime, delinquency prevention andjuvenile justice should be intensified at the national, regional andinternational levels.
62.Regional andinternational co-operation on matters of youth crime, delinquency preventionand juvenile justice involving practitioners, experts and decision makersshould be further developed and strengthened.
63.Technical andscientific co-operation on practical and policy-related matters, particularlyin training, pilot and demonstration projects, and on specific issuesconcerning the prevention of youth crime and juvenile delinquency should bestrongly supported by all Governments, the United Nations system and otherconcerned organizations.
64.Collaborationshould be encouraged in undertaking scientific research with respect toeffective modalities for youth crime and juvenile delinquency prevention andthe findings of such research should be widely disseminated and evaluated.
65.AppropriateUnited Nations bodies, institutes, agencies and offices should pursue closecollaboration and co-ordination on various questions related to childrenjuvenile justice and youth crime and juvenile delinquency prevention.
66.On the basisof the present Guidelines, the United Nations Secretariat, in co-operation withinterested institutions, should play an active role in the conduct of research,scientific collaboration, the formulation of policy options and the review andmonitoring of their implementation, and should serve as a source of reliableinformation on effective modalities for delinquency prevention.
Excerpts from The Jamaican Juveniles Act
The Juveniles Act
1.This Act maybe cited as the Juveniles Act.
(1)In this Act-
"approved school" means a school approved by theMinister under section 35 or 36;
"approved school order" means an order made by acourt sending a juvenile to an approved school;
"child" means a person under the age of fourteenyears;
"children's home" means any institution,dwelling-house or other place where four or more children are boarded andmaintained other than by a parent or lawful guardian, either gratuitously orfor reward;
"children's officer" means a public officerdesignated by the Minister to be a children's officer for the purposes of thisAct;
"contribution order" means an order made by a courtunder section 82 requiring any person to make contributions in respect of anyjuvenile committed to the care of a fit person or to an approved school;
"correctional officer" means an officer so designatedby the Minister;
"the Council" means the Advisory Council establishedunder this Act;
"fit person" includes the Minister, a localauthority, children's home or any association of persons whether corporate orunincorporate;
"guardian", in relation to a juvenile, includes anyperson who, in the opinion of the court having cognizance of any case inrelation to the juvenile or in which the juvenile is concerned, has for thetime being the charge of or control over the juvenile;
"high security approved school" means the whole orsuch part of an approved school as may be declared to be a high securityapproved school by the Minister pursuant to section 77A;
"high security place of safety" means the whole orsuch part of a place of safety as may be declared to be a high security placeof safety, by the Minister pursuant to section 77A;
"intoxicating liquor" means any fermented, distilledor spirituous liquor which cannot, save in certain specified circumstances,according to any enactment for the time being in force be legally sold withouta licence;
"juvenile" means a person under the age of seventeenyears;
"juvenile court" means any juvenile court establishedin accordance with the provisions of this Act;
"local authority" means the Parish Council of anyparish or, in the cases of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, theKingston and St. Andrew Corporation;
"managers", in relation to an approved schoolestablished or taken over by a local authority or by a joint committeerepresenting two or more local authorities, means the local authority or thejoint committee, as the case may be, and in relation to any other approvedschool means the person for the time being having the management or controlthereof;
"place of safety" means any place appointed by theMinister to be a place of safety for the purposes of this Act, or any hospitalor other suitable place the occupier of which is willing temporarily to receivea juvenile;
"probation officer" means a person appointed underthe Probation of Offenders Act, to be a probation officer;
"young person" means a person who has attained theage of fourteen years and is under the age of seventeen years.
(2)For the purposesof this Act any juvenile-
(a)who,having no parent or guardian, or having a parent or guardian unfit to exercisecare and guardianship, or not exercising proper care and guardianship, iseither falling into bad associations, or exposed to moral danger, or beyondcontrol; or
(b)in respectof whom any offence mentioned in the First Schedule has been committed orattempted to be committed; or
(c)who is amember of the same household as a juvenile in respect of whom such an offencehas been committed; or
(d)who is amember of the same household as a person who has been convicted of such anoffense in respect of a juvenile,
shall be considered to be in need of care ofprotection; and the fact that a juvenile is found destitute, or is foundwandering without any settled place of abode and without visible means ofsubsistence, or is found begging or receiving alms (whether or not there is anypretence of singing, playing, performing or offering anything for sale), or isfound loitering for the purpose of so begging or receiving alms, shall, withoutprejudice to the generality or the provisions or paragraph (a), be evidencethat he is exposed to moral danger.
3.It shall beconclusively presumed that no child under the age of twelve years can be guiltyof any offence.
Part III.Preventionof Cruelty to and Protection of Juveniles
(1)If it appearsto a Justice on information on oath laid by any person who, in the opinion ofthe Justice is acting in the interests of a juvenile that there is reasonablecause to suspect-
(a)that thejuvenile has been or is being assaulted, ill-treated or neglected in a mannerlikely to cause that juvenile unnecessary suffering; or
(b)that anyoffence mentioned in the First Schedule has been or is being committed inrespect of the juvenile, the Justice may issue a warrant authorizing anyconstable-
(i)to search forthe juvenile and, if it is found that the juvenile has been or is beingassaulted, ill-treated or neglected in any such manner, or that any suchoffence has been or is being committed in respect of him, to take him to anddetain him in a place of safety; or
(ii)to remove thejuvenile with or without search to a place of safety and to detain hm there,until, in either such case, the juvenile can be brought before a juvenilecourt.
(2)A Justice issuinga warrant under this section may by the same warrant cause any person accusedof any offence in respect of the juvenile to be apprehended and brought beforea court of summary jurisdiction in order that proceedings may be taken againsthim according to law.
(3)Any constableauthorized by warrant under this section to search for any juvenile, or toremove any juvenile with or without search, may enter (if need be by force) anyhouse, building or other place specified in the warrant and may remove himtherefrom.
(4)The constableexecuting any warrant issued under this section may be accompanied by theperson laying the information, if that person so desires, and may also, if theJustice by whom the warrant is issued so directs, be accompanied by a dulyqualified medical practitioner.
(5)It shall not benecessary in any information or warrant under this section to name thejuvenile.
(1)Any constable orauthorized person may bring before a juvenile court a juvenile in need of careor protection.
(2)For the purposesof this section the expression "authorized person" means-
(a)anyprobation officer or any children's officer;
(b)any personappointed by the Minister under section 7;
(c)any personappointed by the Minister on the recommendation of a welfare organization.
(1)A juvenile courtbefore which any juvenile is brought under this Part, or before which isbrought any juvenile in respect of whom any of the offences mentioned in theFirst Schedule has been committed, may, if satisfied that the welfare of thejuvenile so requires, make an order-
(a)sendinghim to an approved school; or
(b)committinghim to the care of any fit person, whether a relative or not, who is willing toundertake the care of him; or
(c)requiringhis parent or guardian to enter into a recognizance to exercise proper care andguardianship; or
(d)placinghim, either in addition to, or without making, any order under paragraph (b) or(c), for a specified period, not exceeding three years, under the supervisionof a probation officer, or some other person to be selected for the purpose bythe Minister.
(a)If ajuvenile court before which any juvenile is brought is not in a position todecide whether any or what order ought to be made under this section, it maymake such interim order as it thinks fit for the juvenile's detention orcontinued detention in a place of safety, or for his committal to the care of afit person, whether a relative or not, who is willing to undertake the care ofhim.
(b)Anyinterim order made under this subsection shall not remain in force for morethan thirty days; but at any time within such period the court may, if itconsiders it expedient so to do, make a further interim order; so, however,that in no case shall any interim order or orders made under this subsectionremain in force for more than sixty days after the date of the first order madeunder this subsection.
(c)If thejuvenile court by which an interim order is made is satisfied on any occasionthat, by reason of illness or accident, the juvenile is unable to appearpersonally before the court, any further interim order which the court haspower to make on that occasion may be made in the absence of the juvenile.
Part IV.JuvenileCourts and the Trial of Juvenile Offenders
17.Arrangementsshall be made by the Commissioner of Police for preventing a juvenile whiledetained in a police station, or while being conveyed to or from any criminalcourt, or while waiting before or after attendance in any criminal court, fromassociating with any adult, not being a relative, who is charged with any offenceother than an offence with which the juvenile is jointly charged.
(1)Where a personapparently a juvenile is apprehended, with or without warrant, and cannot bebrought forthwith before a court, the officer or sub-officer of police incharge of the police station to which he is brought shall enquire into the caseand may release him on a recognizance being entered into by him or his parentor guardian (with or without sureties) for such amount as will, in the opinionof the officer or sub-officer, secure his attendance upon the hearing of thecharge, and shall so release him unless-
(a)the chargeis one of homicide or other grave crime; or
(b)it isnecessary in his interest to remove him from association with any reputedcriminal or prostitute; or
(c)theofficer or sub-officer has reason to believe that his release would defeat theends of justice.
(2)Where a personapparently a juvenile is apprehended and is not released under subsection (1),the officer or sub-officer of police in charge shall cause him to be detainedin a place of safety until he can be brought before a court.
(1)Any court onremanding or committing for trial a juvenile who is not released on bail shallcommit him to custody in a place of safety named in the commitment, tobe theredetained for the period for which he is remanded or until he is thencedelivered in due course of law:
Provided that in the case of a young person it shallnot be obligatory on the court so to commit him if the court certifies that heis of so unruly a character that he cannot safely be so committed, or that heis of so depraved a character that he is not a fit person to be so detained;and where the commitment so certifies he may be committed to such place,including a prison, as may be specified in the commitment warrant.
(2)A commitmentunder this section may be varied, or, in the case of a young person who provesto be of so unruly a character that he cannot safely be detained in suchcustody, or to be of so depraved a character that he is not a fit person to beso detained, revoked, by the court which made the order, or, if applicationcannot conveniently be made to that court, by any court having jurisdiction inthe place where the court which made the order sat, and if it is revoked the youngperson may be committed to such place including a prison, as may be specifiedin the commitment warrant.
(1)Courts, to beknown as juvenile courts, shall be constituted in accordance with theprovisions of the Second Schedule and, when so constituted and sitting for thepurpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred on them by this or any otherenactment, shall be deemed to have, subject to the provisions of this Act, allthe powers of a Resident Magistrate's Court, and the procedure in the juvenilecourt, subject to the provisions of the Act, shall be the same as in theResident Magistrate's Court.
(2)TheGovernor-General may appoint, in respect of each juvenile court, a clerk anddeputy clerk and such clerk and deputy clerk shall, in respect of the juvenilecourt to which they are so appointed, have all powers and perform all theduties which the clerk and deputy clerk have and perform in respect of aResident Magistrate's Court:
Provided that it shall be lawful for any Clerk andDeputy Clerk, respectively, assigned under section 7 of the Judicature (FamilyCourt) Act, to exercise the like powers and perform the like duties asaforesaid in respect of the juvenile court constituted by virtue of paragraph 4of the Second Schedule.
(3)Without prejudiceto the power to bring before a juvenile court by any other means any juvenilein need of care or protection, the attendance of a juvenile or of any otherperson before a juvenile court in accordance with the provisions of this Actmay be enforced by the same officers, by the same process and in the same wayas the attendance of persons before Justices may be enforced under theprovisions of the Justices of the Peace Jurisdiction Act.
(4)Juvenile courtsshall sit as often as may be necessary for the purpose of exercising anyjurisdiction conferred on them by or under this or any other enactment.
(a)A juvenilecourt shall sit in such place or places as may from time to time be specifiedunder paragraph 3 of the Second Schedule as the place or places in which suchcourt shall sit.
(b)Where noplace is specified under paragraph 3 of the Second Schedule as the place inwhich a juvenile court shall sit, the juvenile court shall sit either in adifferent building or room from that in which sittings of courts other thanjuvenile courts are held, or on different days or at different times from thoseon which sittings of such other courts are held.
(6)No person shallbe present at any sitting of a juvenile court except-
(a)membersand officers of the court, and any authorized person as defined in section 13;
(b)parties tothe case before the court, their counsel, solicitors, and witnesses giving orhaving given their evidence, and other persons directly concerned with thecase;
(c)bona fiderepresentatives of newspapersor news agencies;
(d)such otherpersons as the court may specially authorize to be present.
(7)Where a juvenileis brought before a juvenile court is shall be the duty of such court toexplain to him in as simple language as possible the reason for his beingbefore the court.
(8)Where a juvenileis charged before a juvenile court with any offence it shall be the duty of thecourt to ascertain the defence, if any, of the juvenile so as to put, or assistthe juvenile and his parents or guardian in putting, such questions to anywitness as appear to be necessary.
(9)Where a juvenileis charged with any offence and admits the offence, or the court is satisfiedthat the offence has been proved, the court shall record a finding to thateffect and before sentencing the juvenile shall obtain such information as tohis general conduct, home surrounding, school record, and medical history asmay enable it to deal with the case in the best interests of the juvenile. Forthe purpose of obtaining such information or for special observation the courtmay from time to time remand the juvenile on bail or in custody.
(10)An appeal shalllie from any decision of a juvenile court in the same manner and subject to thesame procedure as an appeal from a Resident Magistrates Court.
(1)A juvenile courtsitting for the purpose of hearing a charge against, or an application relatingto, a person who is believed to be a juvenile may, if it thinks fit so to do,proceed with the hearing and determination of the charge or applicationnotwithstanding that it is discovered that the person in question is not ajuvenile.
(2)Where a juvenilecourt has remanded a juvenile for information to be obtained with respect tohim or for special observation, any juvenile court sitting in the same parishor place-
(a)may in hisabsence extend the period for which he is remanded, so however, that he appearsbefore a court at least once in every thirty days;
(b)when therequired information has been obtained, may, subject to any right of appealprovided by this Act, deal with him finally,
and where the court by which he was originallyremanded has recorded a finding that he is guilty of an offence charged againsthim, it shall not be necessary for any court which subsequently deal with himunder this section to hear evidence as to the commission of that offence,except in so far as may be considered that such evidence will assist the courtin determining the manner in which he should be dealt with.
(1)Sentence of deathshall not be pronounced on or recorded against a person convicted of an offenceif it appears to the Court that at the time when the offence was committed hewas under the age of eighteen years, but in place thereof the court shallsentence his to be detained during Her Majesty's pleasure, and, if sosentenced, he shall, notwithstanding anything in the other provisions of thisAct, be liable to be detained in such place (including, save in the case of achild, a prison) and under such conditions as the Minister may direct, andwhile so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody.
(2)A juvenile shallnot be sentenced to imprisonment, whether with or without hard labour, for anyoffence, or be committed to prison in default of payment of any fine, damagesor cost.
(3)Where a youngperson is convicted of an offence specified in the Third Schedule and the courtis of opinion that none of the other methods in which the case may legally bedealt with is suitable, the court may sentence the offender to be detained for suchperiod as may be specified in the sentence. Where such a sentence has beenpassed the young person shall, during that period notwithstanding anything inthe other provisions of this Act, be liable to be detained in such place(including a prison) and on such conditions as the Minister may direct andwhile so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody.
(4)TheGovernor-General may release on licence any person detained under subsection(1) or (3). Such licence shall be in such form and contain such conditions asthe Governor-General may direct, and may at any time be revoked or varied bythe Governor-General. Where such licence is revoked the person to whom itrelates shall return forthwith to such place as the Governor-General maydirect, and if he fails to do so may be arrested by any constable withoutwarrant and taken to such place.
Human Rights Watch
New York Washington London Brussels
Copyright (c) 1999 by Human Rights Watch.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number
Cover design by Rafael Jiménez
Addresses for Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10118-3299
Tel: (212) 290-4700, Fax: (212) 736-1300, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1522 K Street, N.W., #910, Washington, DC 20005-1202
Tel: (202) 371-6592, Fax: (202) 371-0124, E-mail: email@example.com
33 Islington High Street, N1 9LH London, UK
Tel: (171) 713-1995, Fax: (171) 713-1800, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
15 Rue Van Campenhout, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: (2) 732-2009, Fax: (2) 732-0471, E-mail:email@example.com
Web Site Address: http://www.hrw.org
Listserv address: To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with "subscribe hrw-news" in the body of the message (leave the subject line blank).
Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.
We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.
We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.
We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.
We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Human Rights Watch conducts regular, systematic investigations of human rights abuses in some seventy countries around the world. Our reputation for timely, reliable disclosures has made us an essential source of information for those concerned with human rights. We address the human rights practices of governments of all political stripes, of all geopolitical alignments, and of all ethnic and religious persuasions. Human Rights Watch defends freedom of thought and expression, due process and equal protection of the law, and a vigorous civil society; we document and denounce murders, disappearances, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, discrimination, and other abuses of internationally recognized human rights. Our goal is to hold governments accountable if they transgress the rights of their people.
Human Rights Watch began in 1978 with the founding of its Europe and Central Asia division (then known as Helsinki Watch). Today, it also includes divisions covering Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition, it includes three thematic divisions on arms, children's rights, and women's rights. It maintains offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, London, Brussels, Moscow, Dushanbe, Rio de Janeiro, and Hong Kong. Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.
The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Reed Brody, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; Cynthia Brown, program director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance and administration director; Jeri Laber, special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Susan Osnos, associate director; Jemera Rone, counsel; Wilder Tayler, general counsel; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.
The regional directors of Human Rights Watch are Peter Takirambudde, Africa; José Miguel Vivanco, Americas; Sidney Jones, Asia; Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia; and Hanny Megally, Middle East and North Africa. The thematic division directors are Joost R. Hiltermann, arms; Lois Whitman, children's; and Regan Ralph, women's.
The members of the board of directors are Jonathan Fanton, chair; Lisa Anderson, Robert L. Bernstein, William Carmichael, Dorothy Cullman, Gina Despres, Irene Diamond, Adrian W. DeWind, Fiona Druckenmiller, Edith Everett, Michael E. Gellert, Vartan Gregorian, Alice H. Henkin, James F. Hoge, Stephen L. Kass, Marina Pinto Kaufman, Bruce Klatsky, Josh Mailman, Yolanda T. Moses, Samuel K. Murumba, Andrew Nathan, Jane Olson, Peter Osnos, Kathleen Peratis, Bruce Rabb, Sigrid Rausing, Orville Schell, Sid Sheinberg, Gary G. Sick, Malcolm Smith, Domna Stanton, and Maya Wiley. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair of Human Rights Watch.
Infact, while it remains possible that some children detained improperly inpolice lockups have been sentenced and not yet transferred, as required, to ajuvenile correctional center, all of the children interviewed in the lockupsvisited by Human Rights Watch were pretrial detainees.
HumanRights Watch/Americas and Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project,Jamaica: Children Improperly Detained inPolice Lockups(New York, Human Rights Watch, 1994).
Nothis real name. Throughout this report, the names of children we met have beenchanged to protect the children's privacy.
HumanRights Watch interview with community activist Associate Pastor NorbertStephens, United Meadowbrook Church, Kingston, Jamaica, August 31, 1998.
Inthis report, the word "children" refers to anyone under the age of eighteen.Human Rights Watch follows the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child indefining as a child "every human being under the age of eighteen unless, underthe law applicable to the child, majority is obtained earlier." Convention onthe Rights of the Child, G.A. res. 44/25, annex 44 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No 49), at167, U.N. Doc. A/4/49 (1989), Art. 1. The full text of the Convention on theRights of the Child appears in the Appendix.
Seegenerally, "In Politics: Jamaica's Prime Ministers Seeks An End to violence",Los Angeles Sentinel, September 12,1996. "Political tribalism is a violent fact of life in Jamaica, particularlyamong groups called political garrisons'...Rival factions have been known tokill and maim their opponents, destroying property in the name of theirpolitical parties-despite disclaimers by party leaders." Acknowledging thisproblem in 1996, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson established a twelve-membernational committee to address what he called the "cancer in our midst'" and "to tackle the daunting problem of Jamaica's political violence." Ibid.
See,for example, Julia Preston, "Limbo Lingo Gives Politics a Lilt,"Washington Post,February 14, 1989."Manley's National People's Party and Edward Seaga's Jamaica Labor Party arethe two great clans of the Jamaican family. Especially among the poor majority,known as the sufferers,' the bonds that hold each side together are onlypartly related to issues. Another tie comes from five decades of traditions andpatronage passed down since both parties were founded in the 1930s."
FlorenceO'Connor, Jamaican community activist and former head of the Jamaica Councilfor Human Rights, noted that in the past, "[p]oliticians imported guns intoJamaica, but as they lost the ability to meet the economic needs of those towhom they supplied the guns, trade in hard drugs took over..." Ibid.
HumanRights Watch interview with Associate Pastor Stephens, August 31, 1998. Seealso, Kenneth Blackman, "Jamaica: Drugs, Politics and Poverty Blamed for Waveof Violence," Inter Press Service, March 6, 1992. "Tribalism, the visceraladherence to a political party based on emotional commitment and irrespectiveof any policy-related or ideological considerations, is one of the mainfeatures of Jamaican politics"; and "Economy Drags Jamaica Leader Down in PollsPolitics: Apathy Runs High Among Voters,"Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1992. For a discussion of recent Jamaicanpolitical allegiances, see generally Caroline Moser and Jeremy Holland,Urban Poverty and Violence in Jamaica(Washington, D.C.: The International Bank for Reconstruction andDevelopment/The World Bank, 1997), and Centre for Population, Community andSocial Change,They Cry Respect!': UrbanViolence and Poverty in Jamaica(Kingston: Centre for Population, Communityand Social Change,1996).
HumanRights Watch interview with Father Richard Albert, Kingston, Jamaica, August30, 1998.
Planning Institute of Jamaica, Economicand Social Survey Jamaica 1997(Kingston: Planning Institute of Jamaica,1998), p. iii.
Moserand Holland,Urban Poverty and Violencein Jamaica, p. 2.
Centrefor Population,They Cry Respect!':Urban Violence and Poverty in Jamaica, p. 8.
Jamaicansociologist and pollster Carl Stone described this transition vividly,observing that "[i]nitially, they were petty criminals fighting over control ofterritory... After they were discovered by political parties, they were madeinto mercenary adjuncts to JLP and PNP party campaign machinery, helping tokeep political territory safe. Then the gangs became disconnected from theparties while retaining their political loyalties and emerged as managers ofwhole communities, which they controlled by the gun. In the final phase, thegangs have got into the drug business as powerful entrepreneurs in their ownright, selling and dispensing hard drugs, buying the loyalty of renegadepoliceman and holding whole communities under their power." Don Bohning, "GangViolence Surges in Ghettos of Jamaica's Capital: Problem Transcends PoliticalOrigins as Groups Pursue Drug Trade, Seek to Show Independence,"Dallas Morning News, March 1, 1992.See also, Kenneth Freed, "Drugs HaveReplaced Politics as Fuel for Jamaica Violence,"Star Tribune, November 29, 1992. "The gangs were the creations ofthe country's two major parties and they used violence mostly to sway votersand promote political programs. That has largely changed. While the gangs stilldefine themselves in terms of parties and still control patronage and otherpolitical spoils, most of the their work and money comes from the cocainetrade."
Moserand Holland,Urban Poverty and Violencein Jamaica, p. 15.
HumanRights Watch interview with Ambassador Marjorie Taylor, Minister of State andSpecial Envoy on Children, Ministry of Health, Kingston, Jamaica, August 31,1998. According to a 1996 survey, 35.2 percent of Jamaica's population is underthe age of fifteen and approximately 26.3 percent falls between the ages offifteen and twenty-nine. The Planning Institute of Jamaica and the StatisticalInstitute of Jamaica,Jamaica Survey ofLiving Conditions 1996(Kingston: The Planning Institute of Jamaica and theStatistical Institute of Jamaica, 1997), p. 1.
Thisatmosphere helps explain the motivation behind Jamaica's decision on October23, 1997, to denounce the First Optional Protocol to the International Covenanton Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)-the first such denunciation since theprotocol took effect. The First Optional Protocol permits the U.N. Human RightsCommittee to examine communications from individuals claiming to be victims ofviolations of the rights set forth in the ICCPR. Jamaica's denunciation tookeffect on January 23, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Lloyd Barnett, Kingston, Jamaica, August 28, 1998.
Centrefor Population,They Cry Respect!':Urban Violence and Poverty in Jamaica, p.7 (emphasis in original).
CommissionerForbes suggested that this tension is rooted in the role of the police duringJamaica's colonial period, when many Jamaicans viewed police as the enforcersof the interests of the landed aristocracy rather than protectors of the public.Human Rights Watch interview with Francis Forbes, Commissioner of Police,Kingston, Jamaica, August 28, 1998.
See, for example, U.S. Department ofState, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor,Jamaica Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997(Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 1998).
HumanRights Watch interview with Justice Carl Rattray, President, Court of Appealand former Minister of Justice, Kingston, Jamaica, September 3, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Commissioner Forbes, August 28, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Leo Equiano, Director, Kingston Legal Aid Clinic,Kingston, Jamaica, September 1, 1998.
Severalyears ago, the Ministries of National Security and Justice, formerly separateministries, were consolidated. Justice Carl Rattray, former minister ofjustice, noted that the merger of National Security and Justice createsinternal conflict, since the demands of justice sometimes conflict with anemphasis on security, particularly in a country permeated by a "tough on crime"political rhetoric. Human Rights Watch interview with Justice Carl Rattray,September 3, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with June Jarret, Director, Juvenile Institutions, St.Andrews Juvenile Remand Center, Kingston, Jamaica, September 3, 1998.
G.A.Res. A/2200/XXI, December 16, 1966; entered into force March 23, 1976.
G.A.Res. 40/33, November 29, 1985.
G.A.Res. 45/113, April 2, 1991.
G.A.Res. 45/112, March 28, 1991.
G.A.Res. 44/25, November 20, 1989.
ECOSOCRes. 663 C (XXIV), July 31, 1957, and 2076 (LXII), May 13, 1977.
Ibid,Art. 19, 34.
Ibid,Art. 3(1); Riyadh Guidelines, Art. 46.
Ibid.,Arts. 24, 27- 29, 31.
U.N.Rules, Arts. 38-40, 47, 49-55.
SeeIbid, Art. 40(2).
BeijingRules, Art. 7
Ibid,Arts. 17.2, 17.3.
BeijingRules, Art. 19(1); Riyadh Guidelines, Art. 46; U.N. Rules, Art. 1.
BeijingRules, Art. 13.4; CRC, Art. 37(c); U.N. Rules, Art. 29.
U.N.Rules, Art. 17.
Ibid,Arts. 38-40, 47, 49.
Ibid,Art. 67.See alsoCRC, Art. 37(a).
U.N.Rules, Art. 72.
SeeStandard Minimum Rules, Arts. 27-32.
BeijingRules, Art. 13.3; U.N. Rules, Art. 2.SeegenerallyStandard Minimum Rules.
UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217 A (III), December 10, 1948.
HumanRights Watch interview with Sipzroy Bryan, Kingston, Jamaica, August 28, 1998.
JuvenilesAct, Sec. 3.
Caribbean Children's Law Project, 2.2. "A person is of full age and capacity onattaining the age of 18." Law Reform (Age of Majority) Act of 1979.
Places of safety are holding facilities of varying levels of security that intheory provide a temporary home for children "in need of care and protection"and for children accused of lesser offenses.
JuvenilesAct, Sec. 11.
Anjuvenile correctional center is a high security juvenile facility designed forlong-term care and rehabilitation of both convicted children and childrendeemed dangerously uncontrollable. Juvenile correctional centers were formerlyknown as "approved schools." Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarret,Director of Juvenile Institutions, Kingston, Jamaica, September 2, 1998.
JuvenilesAct., Sec. 14.
Jamaicapresently maintains, however, only five children's officers. Human Rights Watchinterview with Afshan Khan, Communications Consultant, UNICEF, Kingston,Jamaica, September 1, 1998.
JuvenilesAct, Sec. 17.
Probationofficers handle investigations in connection with children accused of criminaloffenses; children's officers deal principally with children "in need of careand protection."
Children'shomes are long-term foster care centers intended principally for abandoned orneglected children who cannot expect to be returned to their familyenvironment.
JuvenilesAct, Sec. 29.
The"Governor General's Pleasure" is modeled after the British practice ofdetaining certain juvenile offenders indefinitely at "Her Majesty's Pleasure,"a phrase derived from the Criminal Lunatics Act of 1800 and the Children's Actof 1908: Where an insane person or a child was deemed to pose a continuingthreat to the public despite the expiration of his punitive sentence, he couldbe detained "at Her Majesty's pleasure" for an indefinite period, i.e, untilthe Crown determined that the individual no longer posed a threat to the publicsafety. Several recent decisions by the European Court of Human Rights haveaffirmed that, in view of the exclusivelypreventativepurpose of this practice, juveniles may not be detained as a matter ofarbitrary executive discretion; rather, "Article 5 para. 4 (Art. 5-4) [of theEuropean Convention on Human Rights] requires an oral hearing in the context ofan adversarial procedure involving legal representation and the possibility ofcalling and questioning witnesses."Hussainv. United Kingdom, 22 Eur. H.R. Rep. 1 (1996). See alsoSingh v. United Kingdom, Case No.56/1994/503/585, unreported (1996).
HumanRights Watch interview with June Jarret, September 2, 1998. The Juvenile RemandCenter is a maximum security holding center for remanded boys-similar to a"place of safety"-that falls under the jurisdiction of Correctional Servicesrather than Children's Services because Correctional Services maintains trainedstaff members and resources adequate to handle detainees who may pose greatersecurity risks.
FrancisClift, Michelle Cumbermack, Sonya Gibbs and Lorna King,Caribbean Children's Law Project:The Law Relating to Children in Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidadand Tobago(London: Hornby, Ackroyd and Levy, , p. 56.
HumanRights Watch interview with Leo Equiano, Director, Kingston Legal Aid Clinic,Kingston, Jamaica, September 1, 1998. Mr. Equiano informed us that, forexample, whereas a private attorney would charge JA$90,000, legal aid would askfor approximately $15,000.
LegalAid Act of 1997, Art. 15.
HumanRights Watch interview with Leo Equiano, September 1, 1998.
CRC,Art. 44(1). States party to the CRC undertake to submit an initial reportwithin two years of ratifying and, subsequently, to report at least once everyfive years.
Committeeon the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations on Jamaica, U.N. Doc.CRC/C/15/Add.32 (Eighth session, 1995), para. 5.
HumanRights Watch interview with Superintendent Adams, Spanish Town Police Station,Jamaica, August 29, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Inspector Broomfield, Kingston Central PoliceStation, Kingston, Jamaica, September 2, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Superintendent Adams, August 29, 1998. A surveywritten in chalk at the entrance to the cells further classified the detaineesinto categories such as "convicted," "unconvicted," "in need of care andprotection," and "hospital." Moreover, while Superintendent Adams informed usthat no juveniles were currently detained atSpanish Town, the same chalkedschedule included the category "juveniles," and indicated that ten werecurrently in detention.
HumanRights Watch interview with security officer (name withheld), Spanish TownPolice Station, August 29, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interviews, Spanish Town Police Station, Jamaica, August 29, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Superintendent Adams, August 29, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interviews with detainees (names withheld), Spanish Town PoliceStation, Jamaica, September 28, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Superintendent Bailey, Kingston Central PoliceStation, Kingston, Jamaica, September 3, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Inspector Cleary, Kingston Central Police Station,Kingston, Jamaica, September 3, 1998.
Wewere told by the prisoners, however, that the cells had been hosed down inpreparation for our visit, and sewage hosed outside: thus the severe stenchright outside the cell block.
HumanRights Watch interviews, Kingston Central Police Station, Kingston, Jamaica,September 3, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview, Kingston Central Police Station, Kingston, Jamaica,September 3, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with constable (name withheld), Kingston Central PoliceStation, Kingston, Jamaica, September 3, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview, Kingston Central Police Station, Kingston, Jamaica,September 3, 1998.
HumanRights Watch, Jamaica: ChildrenImproperly Detained(New York: Human Rights Watch, 1994), pp. 15-16.
HumanRights Watch interview with Deputy Superintendent Lawrence, Halfway Tree PoliceStation, Jamaica, September 2, 1998, and telephone interview withSuperintendent Fairclough at police headquarters, Kingston, Jamaica, September2, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Inspector Broomfield, Gun Court Police Station,Kingston, Jamaica, September 2, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Inspector Smith, Gun Court Police Station,Kingston, Jamaica, September 2, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview, Gun Court Police Station, Kingston, Jamaica, September2, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview, Gun Court Police Station, Kingston, Jamaica, September2, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview, Gun Court Police Station, Kingston, Jamaica, September2, 1998.
SeeJuveniles Act, Art. 17; Beijing Rules, Art. 13.3; U.N. Rules, Art.See alsoStandard Minimum Rules, Art.30.
Human Rights Watch interview with Francis Forbes, August, 28, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Superintendent Adams, August 29, 1998.
Pursuant to the Jamaica Juveniles Act, a court can issue an interim orderremanding a child for up to thirty days, but "children in need of care andprotection" should not be remanded more than twice.
U.N. Rules, Art. 42.
U.N. Rules, Arts. 38-40, 47, 49.
Article 8 of the Standard Minimum Rules provides that "different categories ofprisoners shall be kept in separate institutions or parts of institutionstaking account of their age, sex, criminal record, the legal reason for theirdetention and the necessities of their treatment."
Human Rights Watch interview with Sergeant Mullins, Ewarton Police Station,Jamaica, August 29, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Deputy Superintendent Lawrence, Half-Way TreePolice Station, Kingston, Jamaica, September 2, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Sergeant MacIntosh, Matilda's Corner PoliceStation, Jamaica, September 2, 1998.
CRC,Articles 3, 24, and 37.
U.N. Rules, Arts. 31 and 34.
Ibid., Art. 49.See alsoBeijingRules, Art. 13.5.
Standard Minimum Rules, Art. 20.See alsoBeijing Rules, Art. 13.1.
U.N. Rules, Art. 47.See alsoStandard Minimum Rules, Art. 21.
U.N. Rules, Art. 38.See alsoBeijingRules, Art. 13.5,andCRC, Art. 28.
Human Rights Watch interview with Commissioner Francis Forbes, August 28, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Superintendent McDonald, Portmore PoliceStation, Jamaica, August 29, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Neville Webb, August 28, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Commissioner Francis Forbes, August 28, 1998.
By"low-level abuse," we mean limiting or denying food, water, access to bathroomfacilities, and exercise. Low-level abuse also includes verbal abuse and roughphysical treatment when children are picked up by police, during theirincarceration, and during their transfers to court and other facilities. Forgreater discussion of low-level abuse and neglect, see section on "Neglect,Rough Treatment, Mental Abuse," below.
CRC, Art. 19.
Human Rights Watch interview, Glenhope Place of Safety, Kingston, Jamaica,August 31, 1998. The name of the police lockup has been withheld.
Italso demonstrates the potential danger inherent in permitting female detaineesto be guarded by male security staff. The Standard Minimum Rules provide that"[w]omen prisoners shall be attended and supervised only by women officers."Art. 53(3). Human Rights Watch does not categorically oppose cross-genderguarding; when employed, however, it must be attended by appropriate safeguardsto prevent abuses. For a full statement of Human Rights Watch's position onthis issue, see Human Rights Watch,AllToo Familiar: Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. State Prisons(New York: HumanRights Watch, 1996).
Under international standards, every facility in which juveniles are detainedis required to prepare reports detailing information regarding the child'sdetention, physical, and mental health as soon as possible after reception.SeeU.N. Rules, Arts. 21-26.However, Superintendent McKeowan atGlenhope Place of Safety explained that her staff is only able to collectrudimentary information upon admission (such as name, date of admission). Juliahad been at Glenhope for one week and had never been interviewed about her stayin a police lockup.Julia permitted us to inform the Director ofInstitutions for the Children's Services Division of her situation. She wassubsequently taken to a doctor.
Human Rights Watch interview, Homestead Place of Safety, Stoney Hill, September1, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview, St. Andrew's Remand Center, September 3, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with "Mark," a fifteen-year-old at St. Andrew'sJuvenile Remand Center, Stoney Hill, September 3, 1998 (describing being beatenwith sticks by police in Constant Spring lockup); Human Rights Watch interviewwith "James," a sixteen-year-old at St. Andrew's Juvenile Remand Center, StoneyHill, September 3, 1998 (describing being beaten with batons by police inMontego Bay lockup).
Human Rights Watch interview with Inspector Broomfield, September 2, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Sergeant MacIntosh, Matilda's Corner PoliceStation, Kingston, Jamaica, September 2, 1998.
Foran explanation of "fit person" orders, see Section III(2)(B) supra.
Human Rights Watch interview with Winston Bowen, Director of Children'sServices Division, and Claudette Hemmings, Deputy Director of Institutions,Children's Services Division, Kingston, Jamaica, August 31, 1998.
SeePlanning Institute of Jamaica,Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 1997,Ch. 24, "Social Development and Welfare", fig. 24.3.
HumanRights Watch Interview with Claudette Hemmings, August 31, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Superintendent Davidson, Musgrave Children'sHome, Jamaica, August 31, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Claudette Hemmings, August 31, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Superintendent Davidson, August 31, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Mrs. McHugh, Superintendent, Glenhope Place ofSafety, Jamaica, August 31, 1998.
HumanRights Watch Interview with Claudette Hemmings, August 31, 1998.
Human Rights Watch Interview with Superintendent McHugh, August 31, 1998.
HumanRights Watch Interview with Albert Stamp, Superintendent, Homestead Place ofSafety, Jamaica, September 1, 1998.
Article17.3 of the Beijing Rules provides that "[j]uveniles shall not be subject tocorporal punishment."
HumanRights Watch interview with Superintendent Stamp, September 1, 1998.
HumanRights Watch Interview with June Jarrett, Director of Juvenile Institutions inthe Department of Correctional Services, September 3, 1998.
Human Rights Watch Interview with Colonel John Prescott, Commissioner ofCorrections, Ian Miller, and June Jarrett, September 2, 1998.
HumanRights Watch received conflicting accounts of the facilities' maximum capacityfrom various sources.
HumanRights Watch Interview with Neville Webb, August 28, 1998.
SeePlanning Institute of Jamaica,Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 1997,Chapter 23, "National Security and Justice", section 23.9.
HumanRights Watch interview with Neville Webb, August 28, 1998.
Hustling refers to selling goods or services, most often, for example, cleaningwindshields of automobiles stopped at traffic lights.
Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarrett, September 3, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarrett, Ian Miller, and ColonelPrescott, September 2, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarrett, September 2, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Neville Webb, August 31, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Commissioner Francis Forbes, August 28, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Lloyd Barnett, August 28, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Commissioner Francis Forbes, August, 28,1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Superintendent Adams, August 29, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarrett, September 2, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Winston Bowen, August 31, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Claudette Hemmings, August 31, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarrett, September 2, 1998.
Foran overview of how the system should operate, see "Agencies With Responsibilityfor Children," in Section III, "Background," supra, pp. 20-22.
Human Rights Watch interview with Afshan Khan, UNICEF Country Representative,Kingston, Jamaica, September 1, 1998.
HumanRights Watch interview with Claudette Parris, former Superintendent, GlenhopePlace of Safety, Kingston, August 31, 1998.
Human Rights Watch interview with Leo Aquiano, September 1, 1998.
Juveniles Act, Art.30.
Human Rights Watch interview with Commissioner Francis Forbes, August 28, 1998.
SeeU.N. Rules, Art. 21-26.
Human Rights Watch interview with Superintendent Albert Stamp, September 1,1998.
TheHuman Rights Watch team visited Lady Musgrave Girls Home, Glenhope Place ofSafety, Glenhope Nursery, and Homestead Place of Safety.
Human Rights Watch interview with Ambassador Marjorie Taylor, August 31, 1998.
Transcriptby Human Rights Watch.