CRC concluding observations 2023, paragraph 54

UN recommendation

Plain English recommendation

Government should: (a) Raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14; (b) Take action, including by changing the law, to stop children being prosecuted as adults, including anyone who was under 18 when the offence was committed, and ensure that rehabilitation periods are set by the date of the offence, not the date of conviction; ensure detention is a last resort and lasts for as short a time as possible, and ban life imprisonment for offences committed by anyone under 18; (c) Intervene earlier to prevent crime; promote alternative responses like diversion, mediation and counselling for children accused of crimes, and alternatives to a custodial sentence wherever possible; (d) Provide legal aid to children who may have committed a crime, at the beginning of, and during, the legal process; (e) End the practice of remanding children in police custody, ensure that children are not held overnight in police custody and reduce the use and duration of pretrial detention; (f) When a child is deprived of their liberty as a last resort, ensure that they are not detained together with adults, and that conditions of detention meet international standards; (g) End the disproportionate detention of children from minority groups and introduce ways to stop racial profiling by law enforcement authorities; (h) Ensure judges, prosecutors, police officers and other professionals are trained on, and fully understand, ways to make the justice system child-friendly, children’s rights and the CRC principles; (i) Investigate all allegations of violence against children in detention, take action against those responsible and compensate victims; (j) End solitary confinement for children; ensure that if a child is separated from others, it is done for the shortest possible time and only as a last resort, and that they are closely supervised by trained staff; (k) Introduce a child justice strategy in Jersey and ensure all Overseas Territories adopt laws on child justice in line with the CRC.

Original UN recommendation

Recalling its general comment No. 24 (2019) on children’s rights in the child justice system, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendations16 and urges the State party to bring its child justice system fully into line with the Convention and other relevant standards and to: (a) Raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years of age; (b) Take legislative and other measures to ensure that: (i) children are not prosecuted as adult offenders, without exception; (ii) the child justice system is applied to all children who were below the age of 18 years when the offence was committed; (iii) rehabilitation periods are determined based on the date the offence was committed, and not the date of conviction; (iv) detention is used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time and is reviewed on a regular basis with a view to its withdrawal; and (v) life imprisonment is abolished for children and young people who committed offences when they were below the age of 18; (c) Develop early intervention for children and actively promote non-judicial measures, such as diversion, mediation and counselling, for children accused of criminal offences, and, wherever possible, the use of non-custodial measures for children, such as probation or community service; (d) Ensure the provision of qualified and independent legal aid to children alleged to have, accused of, or recognized as having infringed criminal law at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings; (e) Repeal the practice of remanding children into police custody, ensure that no child is held in police custody overnight, and avoid the use, and reduce the maximum duration, of pretrial detention; (f) For the few situations where deprivation of liberty is used as a measure of last resort, continue to strive for full compliance with the international requirement to detain children separately from adults and ensure that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services, including mental health services; (g) Address the overrepresentation of children belonging to minority groups in detention and develop measures, in consultation with affected children and their families, to prevent racial profiling by law enforcement authorities; (h) Ensure capacity-building for judges, prosecutors, police officers and other professionals, including in the Overseas Territories, on child-friendly justice procedures, children’s rights and the Convention; (i) Promptly investigate, applying a child-friendly and multisectoral approach, all allegations of cases of violence, including sexual abuse, against children in detention; prosecute and duly sanction perpetrators; and provide reparations to victims as appropriate; (j) End the use of solitary confinement and ensure that any separation of the child from others is for the shortest possible time and is used only as a measure of last resort for the protection of the child or others, in the presence of, or under the close supervision of, a suitably trained staff member; (k) Adopt a child justice strategy for Jersey and ensure that all Overseas Territories have adopted legislation on child justice in line with the Convention, including by expeditiously adopting child justice bills in Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands.

Date of UN examination


UN article number

22, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37 (b)–(d), 38–40

Last updated on 10/06/2024