PRESS RELEASE: Manfred Nowak appointed to lead study on Children Deprived of Liberty


Geneva / New York – 25 October 2016. A global network of NGOs welcomed today's appointment of Manfred Nowak as the independent expert who will lead the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. The Global Study has been under discussion since the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly Child Rights resolution which explicitly requested its commission in December 2014 (A/RES/69/157 para.51.d). The Study is a major enterprise and a key instrument of change which will finally check the status of the human rights of children being detained around the world.

Mr. Nowak, professor of international law and human rights and former UN Special Rapporteur on torture, has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the issue of children deprived of liberty and his appointment by the United Nations Secretary-General was strongly welcomed by the NGO Panel for the Study, which places faith in his ability to effectively realize the Study to the best extent possible.

The NGO Panel also welcomes the establishment of an Advisory Board to inform the Study, by providing sound expertise and knowledge on the issue. The NGO Panel encourages States to formalize financial support towards the Study and in particular the establishment of a Secretariat for the Study within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.

The Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty is to pursue a broad scope and to address deprivation of liberty in different forms, including: children in conflict with the law; children confined due to physical or mental health or drug use; children living in detention with their parents; immigration detention; children detained for their protection; national security; etc. The Study will collect qualitative and quantitative data on the situation of children in detention, while also registering good practices, such as non-custodial measures and restorative justice, which work in the best interests of both the child and society at large. It will take a collaborative approach with the involvement of a range of actors, including United Nations agencies and experts, member States, civil society organizations, academia and children themselves.

Defence for Children International and Human Rights Watch coordinate the NGO Panel for the Study which is currently made up of ninety-seven NGOs from around the world, all working on tackling the issue of children deprived of liberty in its different forms. The NGO Panel, which launched the campaign calling for the Study in March 2014, will act as permanent interlocutor for civil society organizations throughout the implementation of the Study by contributing relevant information and participating in specific activities. The NGO Panel looks forward to actively participating, along with all other relevant stakeholders, in such important task.

For more information, please visit the official website: To contact the NGO Panel, including media inquiries, please contact, Anna Tomasi: [email protected]

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