Help end child detention

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1. Join the NGO panel

The NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty coordinates joint advocacy and lobbying efforts for the Study.

Any NGOs working on children's rights can request to become a member. For more information, please see the website of the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.


2. Lobby your Government to support the Global Study

Financial support

A lack of funding has prevented work of the Global Study from progressing and has meant no methodology can be set out and no timeline can be put in place, meaning it is not possible to hold consultations or to collect evidence.

Though some States are now in talks about providing financial contributions, there is still the possibility that if the minimum level of funding isn't reached, the Global Study will not go ahead.

It is vital for the UN and Member States to step up and match their rhetoric with action to ensure the Study is adequately funded. You can add your voice to our call for action by urging your government to provide resources to the Study.


Data collection to document the numbers of children deprived of liberty will be at the heart of the Global Study. This will include disaggregated statistics regarding age, gender, and vulnerable groups, and the reason/basis for detention. It is vital that States fill out the questionnaires with the requested information.


3. Lobby your Government on child detention

Public pressure must be part of the effort to end child detention. Individual and group actions to convince governments of the need for change can take many forms, and may include a variety of different actors.

The first step for individuals or groups concerned with ending child detention will be to write to their political representatives, the country’s ministry of justice, or the ministry associated with protecting the rights of children. Presenting evidence of the harm that detention does to children and demonstrating the strength of public opinion against it will go a long way to changing the minds of the people in power.

Support national and grassroots campaigns
Ending child detention requires action at a local and national level and many national, grassroots campaigns have been the most effective  in calling for an end to the detention of children.

National organisations
Organisations dealing with children deprived of liberty in one country are uniquely placed to act as a spokesperson to the public, the government and the media on their behalf. Coordinating and organising national campaigns, protests and advocacy will be vital to presenting a coherent vision for ending child detention in every country.

Detention of children persists, in part, because the situation of children deprived of their liberty remains out of the public eye. Those with tools and knowledge to investigate national situations can help by publishing information about the numbers of children in detention. This could involve using freedom of information laws to reveal the true scale of child detention, or partnering with national groups that monitor places where children are detained, in order to tell their stories.


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