Children as covert human intelligence sources: spies first, children second

Arthur, Raymond and Kirk, Tracy (2023) Children as covert human intelligence sources: spies first, children second. Youth Justice. ISSN 1473-2254 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/14732254231154160

Abstract

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021 empowers the police, and other authorities, throughout the UK to use children as Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) and to authorise these children to engage in criminality, with no criminal liability, in return for information. In this paper we analyse the risk of severe physical and emotional harm that children face when acting as a CHIS and engaging in criminal behaviour to preserve their cover. This practice of using a child as a CHIS and encouraging children to engage in criminal conduct also runs counter to the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales’ ‘Child First’ vision of a youth justice system that respects children rights and operates in children’s best interests. Throughout the article we argue that, despite the existing safeguards, the emphasis should be on helping children to escape a criminal lifestyle, rather than entrenching them further in a life of criminality by encouraging them to act as a CHIS.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: covert human intelligence sources, autonomy, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Child First , right to an open future
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2023 15:49
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2023 08:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51213

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