Rights group slams Luxembourg for holding children in prison

Austrian woman jailed for torturing son in dog cage
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Europe’s top human rights body on Thursday urged authorities in Luxembourg to stop detaining children in prison, denouncing conditions as “unacceptable and unsuitable”.

A report by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) outlined “deplorable living conditions for children” in some of the country’s security units.

The committee particularly focused on the living conditions for children held in Luxembourg Prison (CPL) and Unisec, a security unit for children opened in 2017.

In Luxembourg Prison, the committee found that children were often left to their own devices, without strict separation from adult detainees.

It emphasised that material conditions there “were unacceptable and unsuitable for children.”

Luxembourg authorities did not immediately provide comment to AFP.

After CPT’s visit to Unisec, they also reported “deplorable living conditions,” particularly following incidents of repeated violence.

“Authorities must continue their efforts to improve living conditions at Unisec, expand the activities offered to children and reduce incidents of violence between young people,” the committee said.

In their examination of children detained in Luxembourg, the committee received no allegations of physical ill-treatment by staff.

CPT also visited several police stations and the detention cells of some courts.

Regarding those held by police, the committee received reports of violence, insults and threats, including the “excessive use of force during their apprehension, involving beatings with truncheons and punches and/or slaps.”

After its visit to Luxembourg in spring 2023, the CPT particularly urged authorities to stop detaining children in Luxembourg Prison, a recommendation it has issued repeatedly since 1993.

The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France, is an international organisation comprising of the 46 signatory states of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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