Minors in police cells
Is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child adhered to in the treatment of minors in the Netherlands?
Altijd Wat (‘Always Something’), NCRV, December 2014, 15 min.
Almost 7,000 minors were held in police cells in the Netherlands for one or more days in 2014. Much too high a figure, says children’s rights organisation Defence for Children. Under Dutch law, minors may only be kept in custody as a last resort.
A young person says in the report: ‘The next morning I was hauled out of my bed for questioning. At the time I actually still didn’t know why I was there. During the interview the policemen kept saying ‘just confess now, and then you can go home’.
According to a number of youth rights lawyers, minors are given the same treatment as adults, and detention in police cells does not meet the minimum standards that apply to young people aged under 18. There is only one child-friendly cell in the whole of the Netherlands.
For the Association of Youth Rights Lawyers in Rotterdam and The Hague, it’s time to take action.