Defence for Children International

United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile

Delinquency – Riyadh Guidelines


Riyadh Guidelines

Resolution 45 / 112

14 December1990, 68th plenary session

The General Assembly,

Bearing in mind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as other

international instruments pertaining to the rights and well-being of young

persons, including relevant standards established by the International Labour


Bearing in mind also the Declaration of the Rights of the Child *,

the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the United Nations Standard

Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile justice (The Beijing Rules),

Recalling General Assembly resolution 40/33 of 29 November 1983, in

which the Assembly adopted the Unite Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the

Administration of Juvenile Justice recommended by the seventh United Nations

Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,

Recalling also that the General Assembly, in its resolution 40/35 of

29 November 1985, called for the development of standards for the prevention of

juvenile delinquency which would assist Member States in formulating and

implementing specialized programmes and policies, emphasizing assistance, care

and community involvement, and called upon the Economic And Social Council to

report to the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime the

Treatment of Offenders on the progress achieved with respect to the standards,

for review and action,

Recalling further that the Economic and Social Council, in

resolution 1986/10 of 21 May 1986, requested the Eight Congress to consider the

standards for the prevention of juvenile delinquency, with the view to adoption,

Recognizing the need to develop national, regional and international

approaches and strategies for the prevention of juvenile delinquency,

Affirming that every child has basic human rights, including, in

particular, access to free education,

Mindful of the large number of young persons who may or may not be

in conflict with the law but who are abandoned, neglected, abused, exposed to

drug abuse, in marginal circumstances, and who are in general at social risk,

Taking into account the benefits of progressive policies for the

prevention of delinquency and the welfare of the community,

1. Notes with satisfaction the substantive work accomplished

by Committee on Crime Prevention and Control and the Secretary-General in the

formulation of the guidelines for

the prevention of juvenile delinquency;

2. Expresses appreciation for the valuable collaboration of

the Security Studies and Training Centre at Riyadh, in hosting the International

Meeting of Experts on Juvenile Delinquency,

held at Riyadh from 28 February to 1 March 1988, in cooperation with the

United Nations Office at Vienna;

3. Adopts the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention

of Delinquency contained in the annex to the present resolution, to be called

the Riyadh Guidelines;

4. Calls upon Member States, in their comprehensive crime

prevention plans, to apply the Guidelines in national law, policy and practice

and bring the Guidelines to the attention of relevant authorities, including

policy makers, juvenile justice personnel, educators, the mass media,

practitioners and scholars;

5. Requests the Secretary-General and invites Member States

to ensure the widest possible dissemination of the text of the Guidelines in all

official languages of the United Nations;

6. Further requests the Secretary-General and invites all

relevant United Nations offices and interested institutions, in particular, the

United Nations Children’s Fund, as well as individual experts, to make a

concerted effort to promote the application of the Guidelines;

7. Also requests the Secretary-General to intensify research

on particular situations of social risk and on the exploitation of children,

including the use of children as instruments of criminality, with a view to

developing comprehensive countermeasures and to report thereon to the Ninth

United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of


8. Further requests the Secretary-General to issue a

composite manual on juvenile justice standards, containing the United Nations

Standard Minimum Rules Guidelines on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The

Riyadh Guidelines), and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles

Deprived of their Liberty **, and a set of full commentaries on their


9. Urges all relevant bodies within the United Nations

system to collaborate with the Secretary-General in taking appropriate measures

to ensure the implementation of the present resolution;

10. Invites the Sub-Commission on Prevention of

Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the Commission on Human Rights to

consider this new international instrument with a view to promoting the

application of its provisions;

11. Invites Member States to support strongly the

organization of technical and scientific workshops, and pilot and demonstration

projects on practical issues and policy matters relating to the application of

the provisions of the Guidelines and to the establishment of concrete measures

for community-based services designed to respond to the special needs, problems

and concerns of young persons, and requests the Secretary-General to co-ordinate

efforts in this respect;

12. Also invites Member States to inform the

Secretary-General on the implementation of the Guidelines and to report

regularly to the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control on the results


13. Recommends that the Committee on Crime Prevention and

Control request the Ninth Congress to review the progress made in the promotion

made in the promotion and application of the Riyadh Guidelines and the

recommendations contained in the present resolution, under a separate agenda

item on juvenile justice and keep the matter under constant review.