Child Protection - Strip searches carried out on children as young as 12

A freedom of information request has shown that over a 21 month period 43,960 strip searches were carried out on children under the care of 25 young offenders institutes, secure children’s homes and secure training centres.

Of these searches, illicit items (mostly tobacco; drugs or knives were not found in any of the searches) were found in 275 cases – that’s a success rate of only 0.63%. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises each child's right to privacy and freedom, cruel treatment or punishment.

The humiliating and degrading practice of strip searching removes the child’s right to privacy, and when so few items are being discovered it suggests that it is being used as a cruel punishment rather than a measure to protect other children and staff.

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