Review of treatment and conditions for young people in Police custody

Three New Zealand agencies are to conduct a joint review of the treatment and conditions experienced by children and young people in Police custody to ensure it is safe, humane and meetings international standards.

The review is being conducted under the United Nations OPCAT framework (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture) which was ratified by New Zealand in 2007.

OPCAT requires its member nations to have a system of inspecting places of detention, including Police cells and secure residences for children and young persons.

The Joint Thematic Review of Children and Young Persons’ Detention Issues will be shared by three independent agencies: the Independent Police Conduct Authority, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, and the Human Rights Commission.

The review is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and fulfils this country’s obligation to the United Nations by adopting a preventive approach. It is designed to review broad questions of policy, practice and procedure, rather than focusing exclusively on any individual matter. For the purposes of the review, a “child” or “young person” is someone under the age of 17.

Terms of Reference of the review are available here.