Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Safeguarding The Rights Of Children In Secure Detention Centres

On 03 July Children’s Commissioner was given additional responsibility by the Minister of Justice which extended its role as the independent monitor of the conditions and treatment of children and young people in secure detention centres.

The Children’s Commissioner now has sole designation over care and protection and youth justice facilities and has designation over community-based remand care homes and youth forensic units, and child and adolescent mental health units.

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the extended responsibility will mean the Commission’s specialist youth focused monitoring group can visit virtually all places of child detention and keep an overview of conditions.

“We have a real duty of care for our children and young people who are detained, not just legally but morally too. A huge power imbalance exists between vulnerable children and young people detained without choice and the State. It’s critical their rights and interests are prioritised.

“We cannot afford to be complacent. The challenges present in places where children and young people are held mean we must always be vigilant.

“History tells us children and young people seldom disclose serious abuse, violence, or breaches of human rights while living in these environments. Abuse invariably comes to light much later. One way we can increase chances of disclosure is through rigorous and regular monitoring.

“Our specialist group will visit each residence regularly, often without notice. We will hear the views of those who live and who work there. Our focus will be on developing best practice, and preventing torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. 

“Our findings will be reported to Oranga Tamariki and District Health Boards, as well as a full report to the Minister of Justice each year. Findings may also be made public and will include recommendations for improving conditions and treatment of children and young people who are detained,” says Judge Becroft. 

In addition to the four youth justice detention centres and four care and protection secure residences, the new designations extend to the three youth forensic and mental health facilities (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch) and two forensic mental health facilities (Auckland and Porirua) for young people with serious mental health concerns in the justice system.

There are eight community remand homes throughout New Zealand, of three to five beds for young people in detention where they can live in a family home like environment in their community.

The United Nations Optional Protocol to the Prevention Against Torture (OPCAT) is enacted in New Zealand law through the Crimes of Torture Act 1989. Under this Act, the Children’s Commissioner has designated responsibility as a National Preventative Mechanism for assessing and recommending improvements to the conditions and treatment of children and young people who are detained. The Human Rights Commissioner is the Central National Preventative Mechanism. 

The full designations are published in the Gazette https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2020-go2845

For more information about the lives of children and young people in secure detention centres, see the State of Care 2017 https://www.occ.org.nz/publications/reports/state-of-care-2017-a-focus-on-oranga-tamarikis-secure-residences/ report.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop Covid-19 Coverage: Auckland To Remain At Level 3 Restrictions, Rest Of NZ At 2 For 12 More Days

Auckland will remain at level three restrictions and the rest of the country at level two for 12 more days Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.
She said this would be reviewed on August 21, but there was no indication yet anywhere was required to go to level four restrictions.
Ardern said a good start had been made in stamping out the infections associated with the Auckland family cluster and it appeared it had been picked up early. There was still no certainty about where the virus had come from, but it appeared to be new to New Zealand and not a sign the virus was dormant.... More>>


Government: Plan To Tackle Problem Plastics

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Lockdowns, Leadership And Lebanon

As Melbourne has shown, the webs of urban life overlap so extensively that community transmission can be very hard to trace, let alone control. Each of the family members in the South Auckland family at the centre of the current outbreak will have had ... More>>


National: Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate

Tonight the National Party has selected Emma Mellow to stand in the Auckland Central electorate for the 2020 General Election. Emma Mellow replaces retiring MP Nikki Kaye who first won the seat from Labour in 2008. Emma leads a team of communications ... More>>


Travel: Update On New Zealand And The Cook Islands Bubble

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. More>>

Election 2020: Labour Launch

E ngā mana e ngā reo Ngāti whātua ngā mana whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, e tika te kōrero Ehara taku toa he toa (taki tahi) he toa (taki tini) No rēira tātou e huihui mai nei, ka ‘Hoake tonu tātou’ Thank you for that welcome. And thank ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages: “[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New ... More>>


Democracy 2.0: NextElection Partners With Scoop For Exciting Democracy Tech

Joint Press Release: NextElection, Scoop.co.nz, ScoopCitizen NextElection , a technology platform empowering democracy and Government accountability, and Scoop Independent News have partnered to strengthen citizen participation in the 2020 New Zealand General ... More>>


Covid-19: Poll On Management Approval

New Zealanders’ overall trust in the Ministry of Health and Government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is at 82%, down from 91% during April. Overall distrust that the Ministry and Government will manage it in ways which best protect themselves More>>

Election 2020: National Releases 2020 Party List

National’s 2020 Party List is a strong mix of experience coming up through our Caucus, and new and exciting talent joining our team from communities across New Zealand, Party President Peter Goodfellow says. “The National Party is incredibly ... More>>

Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels