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Defence for Children International

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United Nations Rules for the protection of juveniles deprived of their liberty

Resolution 45 / 113

14 December 1990, 68th plenary seccion

The General Assembly,

Bearing in mind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading * Treatment or Punishment and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as other international instruments relating to the protection of the rights and well-being of young persons,

Bearing in mind also the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,

Bearing in mind further the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, approved by the General Assembly by its resolution 43/173 of 9 december 1988 and contained in the annex thereto,

Recalling the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules),

Recalling also resolution 21 of the Seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenses, in which the Congress called for the development of rules for the protection of juveniles deprived of their liberty,

Recalling further that the Economic and Social Council, in section II of its resolution 1986/10 of 21 May 1986, requested the Secretary-General to report on progress achieved in the development of the rules to the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control at its tenth session and requested the Eight United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders to consider the proposed rules with a view to their adoption,

Alarmed at the conditions and circumstances under which juveniles are being deprived of their liberty world wide,

Aware that juveniles deprived of their liberty are highly vulnerable to abuse, victimization and the violation of their rights,

Concerned that many systems do not differentiate between adults and juveniles at various stages of the administration of justice and that juveniles are therefore being held in gaols and facilities with adults,

1. Affirms that the placement of a juvenile in an institution should always be a disposition of last resort and for the minimum necessary period;

2. Recognizes that, because of their high vulnerability, juveniles deprived of their liberty require special attention and protection and that their rights and wellbeing should be guaranteed during and after the period when they are deprived of their liberty;

3. Notes with appreciation the valuable work of the Secretariat and the collaboration which has been established between the Secretariat and experts, practitioners, intergovernmental organizations, the non-governmental community, particularly Amnesty International, Defence for Children International and Rädda Barnen International (Swedish Save the Children Federation), and scientific institutions concerned with the rights of children and juvenile justice in the development of the United Nations draft Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty;

4. Adopts the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty contained in the annex to the present resolution;

5. Calls upon the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control to formulate measures for the effective implementation of the Rules, with the assistance of the United Nations institutes on the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders;

6. Invites Member States to adapt, wherever necessary, their national legislation, policies and practices, particularly in the training of all categories of juvenile justice personnel, to the spirit of the Rules, and to bring them to the attention of relevant authorities and the public in general;

7. Also invites member States to inform the Secretary-General of their efforts to apply the Rules in law, policy and practice and to report regularly to the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control on the results achieved in their implementation;

8. Requests the Secretary-General and invites Member States to ensure the widest possible dissemination of the text of the Rules in all of the official languages of the United Nations;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to conduct comparative research, pursue the requisite collaboration and devise strategies to deal with the different categories of serious and persistent young offenders, and to prepare a policy-oriented report thereon for submission to the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders;

10. Also requests the Secretary-General and urges Member States to allocate the necessary resources to ensure the successful application and implementation of the Rules, in particular in the areas of recruitment, training and exchange of all categories of juvenile justice personnel;

11. Urges all relevant bodies of the United Nations system, in particular the United Nations Children's Fund, the regional commissions and specialized agencies, the United Nations institutes for the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders and all concerned intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to collaborate with the Secretary-General and to take the necessary measures to ensure a concerted and sustained effort within their respective fields of technical competence to promote the application of the Rules;

12. Invites the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the Commission on Human Rights to consider this new international instrument, with a view to promoting the application of its provisions;

13. Requests the Ninth Congress to review the progress made on the promotion and application of the Rules and on the recommendations contained in the present resolution, under a separate agenda item on juvenile justice.

* Resolution 39/46, annex