DCI, Defence for Children International
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 was the first international instrument to adopt a coherent child rights approach to the international legal regulation of the deprivation of liberty for children. It operates as an umbrella for a set of three rules concerning child justice; the UN Guidelines for the Administration of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines), the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Protection of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), and the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty. Neither the Declaration of the Rights of the Child 1924 nor the Declaration of the Rights of the Child 1959 refers directly either to juvenile justice or to the deprivation of liberty of children. Although the United Nations did adopt Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners 1955, these do not seek as their primary goal to regulate the management of institutions for young people and hence do not take into account the special entitlements of children. The UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, however, are not only applicable to juvenile justice institutions but importantly apply to deprivations of liberty on the basis of the children’s welfare and health.