14 Minors Served Prison Terms In Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

14 Minors Served Prison Terms In Iceland

Published September 2, 2013

14 individuals not yet considered legal adults in Iceland have served prison terms in the country since 2006. A lawyer for prison authorities says this does not violate international law.
RÚV reports that 14 underage individuals, six of foreign origin, have served time in prison in Iceland. This includes a 17-year-old currently serving a sentence in Hegningarhúsið (shown above).
This is despite the fact that Iceland signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 37b. of which states: “No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”
Erla Kristín Árnadóttir, a lawyer for the Icelandic Prison Service, contends that the imprisonment of these individuals does not constitute a violation of this treaty. Rather, she said, authorities decide whether or not a child convict is best left to child protective services or jail, with prison only being a last resort. All matters are decided on a case-by-case basis, she said.


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