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Policy brief: JUST with children. Child-friendly justice for all children in Europe

In response to the Consultation on the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child 2021-2024

2020-12-07
Terre des hommes et al. | Terre des hommes | 42 pages
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ENGLISH

The Policy brief "JUST with children. Child-friendly justice for all children in Europe" was developed in response to the Consultation on the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2021-2024). It has been submitted to the European Commission on 30 November 2020.

This policy brief focuses on children's rights in justice systems, including civil, criminal and administrative justice. To effectively safeguard children's rights in their many facets and across all areas of life, it is indispensable that such rights can be claimed, defended and respected in justice procedures that are appropriate and inclusive for all children without discrimination. Any strategy on the Rights of the Child will thus need to properly take into account children's rights in justice.

To assist the European Commission in this aim, this policy brief presents priorities and recommendations for resilient child-friendly justice systems for all children in Europe. It gives voice to the input of children on their experience with justice (Section I) and reflects the experience of Terre des hommes and its partners in Europe in dealing with children's rights in justice (Section II).

The Policy Brief includes key topics and challenges that were resulted from the Regional (European) Preparatory Meeting that took on place in June 2020, under the Global Initiative on Justice for Children and in preparation for the next World Congress on Justice With Children in Mexico, in 2021. The Brief considers the specific challenges of building resilient child-friendly justice systems for all children in Europe and the key principles of child-friendly justice. It takes into account the important EU action that has been taken.

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This policy brief has been developed by Terre des hommes (Europe region), in close collaboration with, in alphabetical order: Bureau International Catholique pour l’Enfance (BICE), Center za prava deteta – Serbia, Défense des Enfants International – Belgique, Defence for Children The Netherlands, European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ), International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates  (IAYFJM), Leiden Law School, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (BIM), Penal Reform International (PRI), Restorative Justice Netherlands (RJN), Social Activities and Practice Institute (SAPI) – Bulgaria.

This brief is supported by the Global Initiative on Justice with Children and the Child-friendly justice Network.

The partners would like to thank Baker McKenzie. for their pro bono support in drafting this Policy Brief.