Statement: Trafficked children detained in Young Offenders Institutions

In a statement, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Bruce Adamson said:

“Every child deprived of liberty has the right to be treated with humanity, dignity and in a way that takes into account the needs of their age. Depriving children of their liberty must only be a measure of last resort, must take place for the shortest possible time and should always been in an age-appropriate facility.

“No children should be detained in Young Offenders Institutions in Scotland and my office has raised this issue with the United Nations and the Scottish Parliament.  I have been clear with the Scottish authorities that this practice does not comply with international human rights laws.

“We recently raised serious concerns with the Scottish Government about trafficked children being prosecuted in the adult justice system, which is wholly inappropriate. As the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficked Persons has made clear, Scotland must ensure that child victims of trafficking are not detained, charged or prosecuted for offences committed in the course of, or as a result of having been trafficked. We will consider the findings of any review when made available.

“The Scottish Government should ensure that legal and procedural safeguards are sufficient to ensure compliance with international law requirements. That appropriate secure, places of safety are available to meet the needs of vulnerable children, and provide them with care, protection and help to recover from trauma. This must include the type of care best suited to the child’s needs and designed to protect their physical and mental integrity and wellbeing.”

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