Children's rights not allowed? Police interrogation of juvenile offenders

Project Details


Police interrogations are the starting point of criminal procedures against juvenile offenders. Research conducted in the US suggests that particularly juveniles would be vulnerable for the various manipulative and potentially coercive techniques police uses to get suspects to incriminate themselves. However, and in contrast with research on interrogations of child victims of sexual abuse, empirical research on police interrogation of juvenile offenders remains scarce. In Belgium this seems even more true, for there has never been any empirical research on how police interrogates juvenile offenders in daily practice. As a consequence we have no scientific knowledge on how these interrogations are conducted in daily (Belgian) police practice, nor do we know if and how children's rights are practiced during this starting point of the criminal procedures.

By means of observations of police interrogations of juvenile offenders we want to analyse how these interrogations are conducted in daily practice and how children's rights are practiced during these interrogations. Besides, to obtain a better understanding of the observed practice we will also conduct complementary interviews with police interrogators to investigate their perspectives on children's rights. Finally, a comparison of these findings with US research can provide important insights into the legal and practical differences between a "child specific" approach of children's rights (in Belgium) and an "adult like" approach of children's rights (in the US).
Effective start/end date1/01/1331/12/15


  • Sentencing
  • Pre-Trial Detention
  • Community Policing
  • Criminal Policy
  • Restorative Justice
  • Criminal Law
  • Prison Systems
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Economic Criminality
  • Criminal Procedure

Flemish discipline codes 2018-2023

  • Law and legal studies


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