Children in conflict with the law


What is the issue?


Detention of children in the criminal justice system disrupts education, damages employment prospects and exposes children to violence. Even where detention is of the most humane standards, the disruption to the lives of children exacerbates the problems they already face.

No one knows for certain how many children are locked up in prisons, penal institutions, “training schools” or “rehabilitation centres”, but we know that on any given day, at least 200,000 children are held in these facilities accused of or sentenced for a crime.

This overuse of detention for children undermines any attempts to rehabilitate children who commit criminal offences and is a clear violation of their rights.

Learn more about CRIN's work on children in conflict with the law using the links below.


Life imprisonment

Challenging child detention


Minimum age of criminal responsibility

Numbers of children in detention

Juvenile justice