Afghanistan: SRSG CAAC Welcomes the Transfer of 50 Minors to Juvenile Facilities

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, welcomes the transfer of 50 children detained on national security related charges from the maximum-security adult Detention Facility in Parwan (DFiP) to the Juvenile Rehabilitation Center of Kabul province.

The transfer, which took place on 7 November, is a result of continuing advocacy and technical support by the United Nations presence in Afghanistan and highlights the importance of dedicated child protection capacity in such processes.

Following their transfer, these children will have better access to legal, social and educational services.

Supporting the Government to ensure that appropriate services are made available must now be prioritized. SRSG Gamba calls on the government to continue facilitating unhindered access to these children by independent national and international human rights and humanitarian organizations in order that the conditions of detention can be effectively monitored and any deficiencies addressed in a timely manner. In addition, SRSG Gamba stresses the importance of children to be transferred to their provinces of origin in line with the national Juvenile Code.

SRSG Gamba reminds the Afghan authorities of their responsibilities under international law to afford special protection to children in detention. She also stresses, that in line with international best practices, children associated with armed forces or groups should be considered primarily as victims and whenever possible alternatives to detention should be given preference. SRSG Gamba encourages the authorities to work on alternative measures to the detention of children associated with armed groups, in compliance with the Paris Principles.

The United Nations stands ready to support the Afghan authorities in this respect and will continue to assist the Government in its efforts to fully implement the 2011 Action Plan regarding Children associated with National Security Forces and armed groups as well as the 2013 road map to compliance.

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For more information please contact:

Fabienne Vinet
Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict
Tel: +1 212 963-8285 – Mobile: +1 917 288-5791
vinet@un.org

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