It has become almost common that activists, dissenters, journalists, etc are being severely assaulted or imprisoned and detained for months without trial. But even children are not being spared by authoritarian regimes. They are being targeted by missiles or war weapons in many countries.

Global study

A report was published by The United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty by Manfred Nowak as part of 30 years of the convention of Rights of the Child(omnibook.com) . The report in its first chapter deals with deprivation of liberty to the child is deprivation of childhood. Second chapter details process and methodology of research and in the third, data analysis is presented. He maintains that US has high incarceration and detention rates for children. Clarifying his error in data analysis stating that U. S has 100,000 in migration related detentions,  he states, ” So , perhaps it’s really down now to 69,000. That’s fine – but again, it’s much higher than other states that detain children in migration related detention. So, it’s still the highest number. So I think the main message remains the same. (U. N. Expert Clarifies Statistic on U. S Detention of Migrant Children, November 20 2019, npr.org).

The rapid spread of coronavirus has affected detention centers. ‘The coronavirus pandemic has spurred a flurry of activity to release children from juvenile detention centers… “(Coronavirus in juvenile detention is a ‘nightmare scenario’ , doctors and advocates say ‘ by Tayler Kingkade, updated March 28 2020, nbcnews.com). Researchers estimate that 16,000 are held in detention centers nationwide although government does not monitor how many are locked up each year. Most of them are in due to minor offences or awaiting adjudication. Another 4,500 are in adult jails and prisons.

Inhuman act

If this is the situation in a ‘democratic’ country like the US, one can imagine the fate of children in other nations. Children are being mercilessly treated by callous rulers to achieve their own selfish political goals. In many countries, the number of detentions is rarely disclosed. While child Rights Activists have been demanding fair deal to children , the rights of these juveniles is being consistently deprived.

The movement towards release of all child detainees should aggressively campaign for rights of child and make governments take firm positive steps

Sheshu Babu is a political commentator


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