CRIN together with other partners is campaigning for the prohibition and elimination of inhuman sentencing of children across the world using both international and national advocacy.
Legal prohibition on inhuman sentencing of children
The solution to stopping these human rights violations is clear: Governments need to change laws so children are no longer handed inhuman sentences, and they must then ensure that these acts are stopped in practice.
Ending inhuman sentencing requires law reform, meaning national politicians must actually change the law.
But when challenged, some States respond that although they have inhuman sentencing in law, in practice they are no longer handing it to child offenders. This is a completely inadequate response. While the law still authorises inhuman sentencing, possibilities of these gross human rights violations remain. The law must be clear in outlawing inhuman sentencing and disseminated effectively to the public and to all involved in justice systems.
International advocacy and standard setting
CRIN pushes for an end to the inhuman sentencing of children at the international level. More and more UN bodies are discussing the issue, including the General Assembly in a November 2012 resolution calling on States to abolish these rights violations and the 2006 UN Study on Violence Against Children called for States to end these violent and extreme forms of sentencing. Read our detailed paper on human rights standards on inhuman sentencing.
We continue to submit alternative reports to the Universal Period Review (the UN mechanism that reviews the human rights situation in every country every four and half years) for countries that continue these practices, and submit information to other international mechanisms including the Secretary-General’s death penalty report (example).
National campaigning - Help needed
International campaigning alone is unlikely to force governments to move quickly enough to prohibit inhuman sentencing. We need laws and practices to change at the national level to stop these horrendous acts.
We hope that coordination and solidarity - achieving linked campaigns internationally, across regions and countries - can accelerate the necessary law reform and change.
We need campaigners from countries that allows the inhuman sentencing of children to work with us to end these barbaric acts. Find out ways for you to get involved and examples of ongoing national campaigns by local NGOs. For more contact us at [email protected].