Building a Europe for and with children

Treaty-based monitoring

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR monitored through a system of individual complaints

Articles 17-19 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) establishes the European Court of Human Rights as its monitoring mechanism. The Court's monitoring procedure is based up individual complaints. This means that individuals (including children) must lodge an application on their own behalf, but only after all domestic remedies have been exhausted. The Court's case law is related to individual cases, but it gives an indication of the interpretation of standards set by the Convention and the remedies needed to avoid future violations. Individual cases refer to specific situations, which make them more likely to be the object of media coverage, thus generating public awareness of the issues.

Although the Convention and its protocols make few direct references to children, the rights and freedoms it secures are applicable to "everyone", thus children cannot be excluded. Many of the Convention's articles (prohibition of torture and of slavery; the right to liberty and security, to a fair trial, and respect for family and private life) have been frequently used to assert children's rights. Theseus is a database containing analyses of case law relevant to children, covering the period 23 July 1968 to 16 June 2008. It is currently being updated to extend to 2009.
Learn more:
the Court's general website
the Court's execution of judgment website
"The conscience of Europe" video on the functioning of the Court

The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment monitored through a system of visits, examination of treatment and reports

 Article 1 of Chapter 1 of the  European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  establishes the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (CPT) as its monitoring mechanism. The CPT has the power to visit places wherever people (including young people) can be deprived of liberty, such as prisons, detention centres, police stations, social welfare homes, holding centres for immigrants, psychiatric hospitals and so forth. Besides its regularly conducted scheduled visits, CPT delegations may make surprise visits, notifying a state only that an unscheduled visit is planned, without revealing the time or date. In urgent cases, visits may be immediate. During these visits, the CPT has unlimited movement and may communicate freely with any person that can supply information.

See "CPT standards", a brochure on standards relating to treatment in detention, including that of juveniles. The brochure highlights the particular importance the committee attaches to the prevention of ill-treatment of juveniles deprived of their liberty, and Section VI is devoted to this issue.

Learn more about the CPT monitoring

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treaty based monitoring continued
Other independent human rights monitoring bodies
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