IRAQ: New UN report urges reform of juvenile justice system

Summary: The report, covering the period from 1 July to 31 December 2012, is published by the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in cooperation with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Extract from the Executive Summary

Children continue to be subject to domestic and other forms of violence. Children’s detention centres continue to suffer from poor physical conditions and a lack of properly trained staff. Security forces often fail to treat juvenile offenders as children, and frequently incarcerate them during investigation in places of detention along with adults. Interrogation and investigation of minors are often carried out without the presence of a lawyer or guardian who can ensure that the best interests and rights of the child are respected. Poverty and lack of access to basic services continue to affect many Children and the Government of Iraq suggest that 30 percent of children live in poverty.


In the set of recommendations issued to the government, the report includes the following on children's rights:

24. Reform the juvenile criminal justice system to ensure that alternatives to detention are considered for children in conflict with the law.

25. Ensure that juvenile detention facilities provide access to services and conditions appropriate for the physical and mental care and development of children, and that all staff working with children are appropriately trained in the care of children.

26. Ensure the implementation of programmes to guarantee access of all children to basic services, including healthcare, housing and education.

Further Information




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