Torture and inhumane treatment of children deprived of liberty should be stopped

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 26th of June, ADC Memorial calls for attention to the specific problem of inhumane treatment and cruelty against children in closed institutions.

Some practices that are considered acceptable in treating detained adults are recognized as torture when used against children: solitary confinement and the use of isolation rooms (cells) as punishment; the use of handcuffs or other restraints; limitation of meeting family members; bans on telephone and other communication means. CRC UN recommendations and ECHR decisions clearly object against the use of such measures towards minors. Detailed recommendations on this issue are given in a global study on children deprived of liberty submitted by the specially appointed Independent Expert Manfred Novak to the UN General Assembly in 2019.

Except of the widespread above mentioned forms of cruelty, children deprived of liberty sometimes even  physical and psychological violence completely prohibited by law.

To prevent torture of children, all places of internment (not only prisons but also detention centres for migrants and closed social institutions where children are kept) should be regularly monitored by independent observers. International Chidren Rights should be implemented in these places in order to prevent cruelty and inhumane treatment of children.

All actions towards children – including those in the sphere of criminal justice – have to be aimed at the improvement and development and not at repression. Children must be helped to live free of crime and punishment in their future.


“Promotion of modern international standards of children’s rights: deinstitutionalization and humanization of closed institutions in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine” is a project of ADC Memorial and partner organisations (supported through the EaP Civil Society Forum Re-granting Scheme (FSTP) to Members and funded by the European Union as part of its support to civil society in the region). Within its Re-granting Scheme, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) supports projects of its members that contribute to achieving the mission and objectives of the Forum. Grants are available for CSOs from the Eastern Partnership and EU countries. Key areas of support are democracy and human rights, economic integration, environment and energy, contacts between people, social and labour policies.



This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the responsibility of ADC Memorial and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

*All  frames used in the video-clip are taken from open sources and published videos, all the children shown in the clip are already adults