The Practice of Solitary Confinement of Children in Juvenile Detention in Victoria: A Human-Rights Based Argument for Prohibition

Anita Mackay, Mohamed A Naleemudeen

Abstract


In 2017, Victoria’s practices surrounding the solitary confinement of detained children were found by the Supreme Court to have breached the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) – including the right to be treated with ‘humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person’ when deprived of liberty.  This was in the context of children aged between 15 and 18 years of age being held in a precinct of the Barwon maximum security adult prison from November 2016.  This article contextualises the Supreme Court’s findings by outlining the problematic use of solitary confinement of children in juvenile detention in Victoria in the years preceding the judgment (since 2010) and following.  Numerous investigative reports have raised concerns about solitary confinement, which is extremely detrimental to children.  Through the findings of investigative reports, this article demonstrates that the use of solitary confinement in Victoria violates Australia’s international human rights law obligations. It argues that, consequently, the practice should be prohibited – consistent with the 2015 recommendation by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 


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References


REFERENCE LIST

A Articles/Books/Reports

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