Rights of Children
Suffering in Silence: The Failure of Malawi's Sexual Offense Laws to Protect Children—A Human Rights Report and Proposed Legislation
Malawi has a duty to ensure that all Malawian boys and girls are protected from sexual violence and that justice is served on sexual abusers. Yet, sexual violence against children in Malawi is pervasive, and survivors face significant barriers in their quest for justice. The Constitution of Malawi and the country's legal obligations under various human rights treaties necessitate a detailed look at the gaps and inconsistencies in the laws that fuel rape culture and that grant impunity to sex offenders.
A Mandate to End Placement of Children in Institutions and Orphanages: The Duty of Governments and Donors to Prevent Segregation and Torture
UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez brings overdue attention to children detained in institutions and the need to protect them against torture or ill-treatment. The Méndez Report establishes that the obligation to prevent torture requires governments to stop the unnecessary institutional placement of any child. There are 8-10 million children detained in orphanages and other institutions around the world. Research demonstrates that raising children in a congregate setting is inherently dangerous, leading to psychological damage, developmental delays, and an increased risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation. Eric Rosenthal, the 2015-2016 Fr. Robert Drinan Chair in Human Rights, argues that a moratorium on new admissions is the most effective way to fulfill the mandate of the Méndez Report – combined with immediate action to integrate institutionalized children back into families.
The Framework for Considering the Best Interests of Unaccompanied Children was prepared by the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights at the University of Chicago with support from the MacArthur Foundation and in collaboration with the University of Chicago Law School and the Human Rights Institute at Georgetown Law.
In 2015-2016, the HRI Fact-Finding Project and practicum course examined the right to education and access to public education for undocumented immigrant children in the United States.
The solitary confinement of children is a serious and widespread problem in the United States. Extended isolation of children can have a devastating impact – inhibiting healthy growth, development and rehabilitation and causing serious pain and suffering, or worse. All isolation practices are problematic: prolonged isolation is inconsistent with medical and correctional best-practices and can violate both constitutional and international human rights law.
Amnesty International and the Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute present these written observations of law to provide additional support and context regarding the international human rights standards that apply to the case of Henry Hill et al. vs. The United States of America. This case offers the Commission an opportunity to clarify the international law standards that govern the sentencing of children in conflict with the law in the Americas, and particularly how various norms of customary international law, incorporated through regional human rights obligations, prohibit life without parole sentences for children.
In 2013-2014, the HRI Fact-Finding Project and practicum course examined how statelessness in the Dominican Republic limits children's access to education.
In 2011-2012, the HRI Fact-Finding Project and practicum course examined the right to education of children in the United States in conflict with the law through fieldwork in Los Angeles.