Practice Relating to Rule 120. Accommodation for Children Deprived of Their Liberty
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states that, wherever possible, interned “family members must be housed in the same place and premises”.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts, the manual provides: “Family members are detained together.”
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001), in its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power and, more specifically, in a section entitled “Treatment of internees”, states: “Wherever possible, … family members must be housed in the same place and premises.”
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states with regard to prisoner-of-war accommodation: “Provision is to be made for segregation of the sexes and for juveniles to be segregated from adults.”
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008) states:
Chapter 4: Use of Force in International Operations
402. Types of International Operations
1. In general, there are four types of international operational relationships in which the CF [Canadian Forces] may participate with each one having unique considerations pertaining to the use of force, self-defence and rules of engagement:
a. Alliance. Alliance operations refer to operations conducted under a formal standing alliance such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or Canada-United States (CANUS). In these cases, there are formal policy, command-and-control and force structure instruments which will affect ROE [rules of engagement] development and application;
b. Coalition. A coalition is a less formal alliance which is normally limited to a specific mission. Coalitions normally lack the formal status of forces' agreements and infrastructure architectures that are common to alliances such as NATO. A coalition may operate under the legal umbrella of a UN Security Council resolution, but they are not UN missions. Once a mission or operation has been completed, the coalition is normally disbanded;
c. United Nations (UN). UN missions operate under a UN Security Council resolution and fall within the UN command-and-control structure; and
d. Unilateral. An international operation where Canadian forces are operating unilaterally within a region or area.
407. Supplementary Direction
3. Detainees. In support of the operational or security objectives of an international operation, Canadian forces may be required to detain persons. Reasons to detain include, but are not limited to, persons who do the following:
4. Where the use of deadly force is authorized in a given situation, that authority also includes the authority to detain persons against whom deadly force could have been used. In all other cases, specific ROE must be authorized in order to detain persons. The standards provided in the Geneva Conventions will be the minimum standard for the treatment of all detainees whether or not the Geneva Conventions legally apply during the operation.
Upon ratification of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, Canada reserved the right “not to detain children separately from adults where this is not appropriate or feasible”.
In 2009, in its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Canada stated under the heading “Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict”:
All persons apprehended and detained by the Canadian Forces in a theatre of hostilities are treated humanely and in a manner consistent with international legal standards. In cases where a captured person, suspected of being a juvenile, is unwilling or unable to reveal their date of birth, the person will be assumed to be a juvenile until more detailed checks can be made. Juvenile detainees are segregated from adults. They are at all times treated with due regard to their age and in accordance with Canada’s obligations under international humanitarian law.