1995/41. Human rights in the administration of justice, in
particular of children and juveniles in detention

The Commission of Human Rights,

Guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocols,

Guided in particular by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its article 40, as well as the relevant provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

Recognizing the central role of the administration of justice in the promotion and protection of human rights,

Welcoming the work of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in the field of human rights in the administration of justice,

Welcoming also the work of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in the field of human rights and the administration of justice as reflected, inter alia, in resolution 1994/22 of 25 July 1994 of the Economic and Social Council on technical cooperation in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice and Council resolution 1994/18 of 25 July 1994 on United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice,

Emphasizing the importance of coordinating the activities in this field carried out under the responsibility of the Commission on Human Rights with those under the responsibility of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice,

Noting that many human rights violations in the administration of justice are specifically or primarily directed against women and that the identification and reporting of these violations demand special vigilance,

Aware of the specific situation of children and juveniles in detention and their special needs while deprived of their liberty, in particular their vulnerability to various forms of abuse, injustice and humiliation,

Recalling in this context the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines), the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty and General Assembly resolution 45/115 of 14 December 1990 on the instrumental use of children in criminal activities,

Welcoming the important activities of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the United Nations Children's Fund, the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography with regard to the special needs of children and juveniles in detention,

Deeply concerned at the severity and brutality with which children and juveniles are used as instruments in criminal activities,

Reaffirming that the best interests of the child and the juvenile must be a primary consideration in all decisions concerning the deprivation of their liberty,

1. Reaffirms the importance of the full implementation of all relevant United Nations standards on human rights in the administration of justice;

2. Reiterates once again its call to all Member States to spare no effort in providing for effective legislative and other mechanisms and procedures, as well as adequate resources, to ensure full implementation of these standards;

3. Recognizes the important role that non-governmental organizations, including professional associations of lawyers and judges, can play in promoting human rights in the administration of justice;

4. Welcomes the special attention given to questions relating to the effective protection of human rights in the administration of justice by special rapporteurs and working groups and calls upon them to continue to provide, wherever appropriate, specific recommendations in this regard, including proposals for concrete measures under the United Nations programme of advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human rights;

5. Stresses the desirability of States being provided, at their request, with continued assistance in the field of the administration of justice;

6. Urges the High Commissioner for Human Rights to consider favourably requests by States for assistance in the field of the administration of justice and to strengthen system-wide coordination in this field, in particular between the United Nations programme of advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human rights and the technical cooperation and advisory services of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme;

7. Takes note with appreciation of the recommendations of the expert group meeting on children and juveniles in detention, held in Vienna from 30 October to 4 November 1994 (see E/CN.4/1995/100);

8. Recognizes that every child and juvenile in conflict with the law must be treated in a manner consistent with his or her dignity and needs;

9. Calls upon all States to give high priority to the promotion and protection of all rights of the child and juveniles in the administration of justice;

10. Urges States that the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines), the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty be fully taken into account in their national legislation and practice and that they be widely disseminated;

11. Also urges States to take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the principle that depriving children and juveniles of their liberty should only be used as a measure of last resort;

12. Invites Governments to provide training in human rights and juvenile justice to all judges, lawyers, prosecutors, social workers and other professionals concerned with juvenile justice matters, including police and immigration officers;

13. Recommends that States make use of technical assistance offered by the United Nations programmes of advisory services and technical assistance, in order to strengthen national capacities and infrastructures in the field of juvenile justice;

14. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to pay special attention to the subject of juvenile justice and, in close cooperation with the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Children's Fund, to develop strategies to ensure effective coordination of technical cooperation programmes in the field of juvenile justice;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Commission at its fifty-second session on the implementation of the present resolution;

16. Decides to consider this question at its fifty-second session under the agenda item entitled "Question of the human rights of all persons subjected to any form of detention or imprisonment".
53rd meeting
3 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. X. E/CN.4/1995/176]


HOME | SITE MAP | SEARCH | INDEX | DOCUMENTS | TREATIES | MEETINGS | PRESS | STATEMENTS



Copyright 1996-2000
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland