In 2024, the Children’s Division visits partly closed residential institutions for children and young people

Partly closed residential institutions and partly closed wards in residential institutions have special powers to detain the children and young people by locking outer doors and windows for periods of time. There is also more extended access to physically restrain a child or a young person.

In 2024, the Ombudsman’s Children’s Division will carry out monitoring visits to partly closed residential institutions and partly closed wards in residential institutions for children and young people in Denmark.

‘This year, we will be focusing on the partly closed residential institutions and wards. We do so partly because of the special rules applying to the use of force towards children and young people and partly because there have in recent years been several instances of critical reports on conditions in partly closed residential institutions’, says Parliamentary Ombudsman Niels Fenger on the background for this year’s theme.  

The children and young people will often experience both physical restraint and detention as highly invasive. During the monitoring visits, the Ombudsman will therefore look at the institutions’ use of physical force and detention and check whether the staff know the rules applicable to the sector.  

During the monitoring visits, there will also be focus on other interventions in the children and young people’s right to self-determination, for instance search of persons and rooms. Any in-house schools in the institutions will also be included in the monitoring.

The purpose of the Ombudsman’s monitoring visits is to help ensure that children and young people in partly closed residential institutions and partly closed wards in residential institutions are treated with consideration and in accordance with their rights.

Further details:

Director of International Relations, Klavs Kinnerup Hede kkh@ombudsmanden.dk

 

FACTS

Theme for the Children’s Division’s monitoring visits in 2024

The theme for the Children’s Division’s monitoring in 2024 is partly closed residential institutions and partly closed wards in residential institutions. Focus will be on:

  • Use of physical force
  • Detention and restraint
  • Search of persons and rooms
  • House rules and other matters, including information about rights
  • Schooling in in-house schools.

Previous visits

The partly closed residential institutions and partly closed wards in residential institutions have not previously been a theme for the Children’s Division’s monitoring activities.

Generally on the Ombudsman’s monitoring visits

  • The Parliamentary Ombudsman carries out regular monitoring visits in public and private institutions, especially where people are or can be deprived of their liberty.
  • The monitoring visits are carried out in cooperation with DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, which contribute with medical and human rights expertise.
  • The Ombudsman’s Children’s Division carries out monitoring visits to institutions for children.
  • Every year, a theme is chosen for the year’s monitoring visits to both institutions for children and institutions for adults.
  • Every year, a report is made in which the Ombudsman summarises and presents the most important results of the year’s thematic visits.
  • The Ombudsman publishes regularly which institutions etc. he has visited, and he also publishes the concluding letters to the institutions in Danish.
  • Read more about the Ombudsman’s monitoring visits.