News 2020-11-19

Director of the Vienna Master presents United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty

By Vienna Master Team

Childhood is when children develop their personality, their emotional relationships with others, their social and educational skills and their talents. Depriving them of liberty means depriving them of their childhood.”

Manfred Nowak

Placing children in institutions and other facilities where they are, or may be, deprived of liberty is difficult to reconcile with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Article 37b CRC clearly states that deprivation of liberty of children shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. To address this situation, in December 2014 the United Nations General Assembly invited the United Nations Secretary-General to commission an in-depth Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.


In October 2016, Manfred Nowak (Director of the Vienna Master) was appointed as Independent Expert to lead the Global Study. He submitted his final report on the Study to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in 2019 and presented it during its 74th session. You can see the recording here.

Around the 30th anniversary of the CRC, Manfred Nowak and the Global Study Team, led by Georges Younes (Head of Office of the Vienna Master), gave a press conference at the UN Palace of Nations in Geneva and presented the comprehensive version of 800 pages. You can see the recording here.


274 children; 67 UN Member States; 170 NGOs; 8 UN agencies and bodies; 22 expert advisors; and 10 research groups uniting 150 highly dedicated and committed researchers across all world regions joined forces to make the invisible visible: deprivation of liberty of children.

Today, alumnus Manu Krishan leads the follow-up endeavours of the Global Study at the Global Campus of Human Rights (partner of the Vienna Master). The Global Study community is now tirelessly working on disseminating the recommendations of the Study in order to promote and foster children’s rights and to engage in projects ensuring that no child is left behind!

Links to the official Global Study documents:

The United Nations General Assembly reports in all official UN lnaguages can be found here.

The UN Global Study on Children derpvied of Liberty can be found here.

The Executive Summary in English and soon in all other official UN languages can be found here.

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