NL leads Europe in locking up children
The Netherlands locks up a great many children in comparison with a number of other European countries.6 March 2008
AMSTERDAM – The Netherlands locks up a great many children in comparison with a number of other European countries.
The International Treaty on the Rights of the Child prohibits locking children up in closed facilities unless it is a last resort.
This is contained in the international report 'Violence against Children in Conflict with the Law', published on Wednesday.
The study was carried out by Defence for Children International the Netherlands in conjunction with organisations in Great Britain, Belgium and France.
"In all four countries under review the number of children in detention rose," says project leader Sharon Detrick. "The Netherlands emerged as one of the frontrunners in Europe."
The number of places in youth correctional institutions in the Netherlands nearly doubled between 1997 and 2006: from 1,410 to 2,753. On 1 January 2006 1,117 children were being held in detention because of criminal convictions.
In England and Wales the number of registered violations by children fell between 1994 and 2004, but the number of children in detention increased by 90 percent.
The study says the policy with respect to children that get in trouble with the law has become more repressive and harsher penalties have been introduced.
"Safety in youth correctional facilities is worrying," says researcher Maartje Berger. "This was investigated in the Netherlands earlier in a report from the Youth care Inspectorate together with other inspectorates."
"The Netherlands also stands out for its use of isolation measures, in which children often spend several days in solitary confinement or confined to their room."
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]