Study process

After 3 years of work of close to 150 researchers worldwide, most of whom worked on a pro-bono basis, 3 expert meetings, 12 international thematic consultations, 274 interviews with children and countless fundraising talks, a summary Report was presented on 8 October 2019 to the General Assembly in New York, followed by a launch of the Global Study itself, at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, on 19 November 2019 in Geneva.

Timeline of the Global Study


Official launch of the campaign for the Global Study


Formal letter of support by the CRC-Committee extended to the UN Secretary General


First expert consultation to discuss the scope of the Study and to galvanise political support (Geneva, Switzerland)


The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Child Rights Resolution A/RES/69/157, inviting the United Nations Secretary-General to commission an in-depth global study on children deprived of liberty (§ 52.d).


Adoption of UNGA Resolution A/RES/70/137 recalling previous resolution (2014), encouraging States to support the Global Study


Official funding appeal by UN Deputy Secretary General to all UN Member States


25 October 2016 – Manfred Nowak is appointed as Independent Expert to lead the Study. 


Adoption of UNGA Resolution A/RES/71/177 inviting the I.E. to provide an update on the progress made and to submit a final report at the UNGA 73rd session (October 2018)


First Expert Meeting on the development of the questionnaire (Venice, Italy)


First Interactive Dialogue of the I.E. at the UN General Assembly, informing States that only one fifth of the foreseen budget had been raised (NYC, USA)


Adoption of the UNGA Resolution A/RES/72/245 inviting the I.E. to update Member States at the UNGA 73rd session on the progress made and to submit a final report to the General Assembly at its 74th session (October 2019)


Questionnaire – translated into all UN languages – dispatched by OHCHR to all UN Member States
April:Second Expert Meeting on the formation of the research groups for the Global Study (Vienna, Austria)


Deadline for responses to the questionnaire


Second Interactive Dialogue of the I.E. at the UNGA, providing an update on the status of the Global Study (NYC, USA)


Final Expert Meeting finalising the draft chapters of the Global Study (Venice, Italy)


Formal submission of the UNGA Report on the Global Study (A/74/136


Third Interactive Dialogue of the I.E. at the UNGA, formally presenting the UNGA Report (NYC, USA) (Resolution 72/245 §37)


Official presentation of the Global Study (Geneva, Switzerland)

to be added

to be added

The implementation of further dissemination activities is supported by the Global Campus of Human Rights in partnership with the Right Livelihood Foundation. Find out more about the launches of this Study under follow-up activities.

Najat Maalla M´jid, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, has taken the leading role in coordinating the Global Study Interagency Taskforce to implement the Global Study´s recommendations. Check the newest updates.

Structural Setup of the Research Process

UN General Assembly

mandating the Study

UN Secretary-General & UN Interagency Task Force

Secretary General delegated the authority to the UN Task Force to prepare the ground for the Independent Expert’s work and to ensure UN system-wide support and coordination for the Study development

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Secretarial support for the Study development, assisting the Independent Expert in coordinating activities with Member States and others

Research Group

For each of the situations of deprivation of liberty, a research group was established. Additionally, every cross-cutting theme also had a dedicated research group. Research groups are composed of:

  • Lead Researchers, coordinating the group (Research Institutions/academia)
  • Relevant UN agencies from the UN Interagency Task Force
  • Representatives of relevant NGOs
  • Representatives of the Advisory Board

NGO Panel

mobilising support and raising awareness worldwide

Advisory Board of qualified international experts

advising the Independent Expert and assisting the Research Groups

Independent Expert and Coordination Team at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights and Global Campus of Human Rights

responsible for the overall project management, support to fundraising, organising all expert meetings, national, regional and thematic consultations, monitoring the data analysis process and coordinating the ‘Data Task Force’ as well as coordinating the research, publication and dissemination processes

To read more information about the organisations, involved in the Global Study, click here