Comments on the Draft General Comment on Article 2 (GVA0829)

Ställd till: Secretariat Committee against Torture
Diarienummer: 8.4:0890/07

The Children’s Ombudsman in Sweden welcomes the general comment on Article 2 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Children’s Ombudsman would like to comment especially on the area of children in detention.

According to The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), every child has the right to be protected from all forms of violence (article 19). No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Detention or other imprisonment of the child should only be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest time as possible. Furthermore, children have a right to maintain a good contact with ones family through letters and visits (article 37). States parties should recognize the right in article 40 regarding administration of juvenile justice; including the right to legal assistance.

The Children’s Ombudsman wants to state the importance of not putting children in remand prisons, unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. Furthermore, the remand prisons must be adjusted to the rights and the needs of the children. For example, children should not be held isolated. Our opinion is that children in remand prisons should be kept separated from grown-up detainees, as stated in article 37, but not to the cost of regular human contact.

The Children’s Ombudsman is hopeful that States Parties will prohibit, prevent and redress cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in remand prisons and other institutions that engage in the care of children. We welcome the right of compensation for victims of ill- treatment and torture. The Children’s Ombudsman is moreover positive to the recommendation, which says that States Parties should provide data disaggregated by age, gender and other key factors in their reports when evaluating the measures taken to prevent ill- treatment and torture.

Finally, the Children’s Ombudsman would like the Committee against Torture to take into consideration that there are other existing international documents, besides the CRC, regarding rights of children in detention:

United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (”the Beijing Rules)

United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty

Report from the Committee on the Rights of the Child’s General Discussion Day on Juvenile Justice, 1995

Lena Nyberg

Charlotte Lenman
Ansvarig jurist