in Europe

Procedural Rights of Juveniles Suspected or accused in the EU



The overall objective is to ensure that foreign children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings benefit from the procedural guarantees they are entitled to  as per directives 2010/64, 2012/13, 2013/48 (right to interpretation and translation, right to information,  and right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings.

This objective is divided into two sub-objectives:
1. To increase the knowledge-base and capacity of law enforcement and legal practitioners to ensure the rights of foreign children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings are respected
2. To ensure that the three procedural directives a re harmoniously implemented in 15 EU Member States and benefit to all children, including foreign children


  • National research in 5 countries (Belgium Hungary, Netherlands, Spain) on how the rights of foreign children are upheld during criminal proceedings.
  • Based on the national  5 national research a regional comparative analysis will be done – pointing out also noteworthy practices
  • A handbook will be designed for legal practitioners – which will also incorporate the views of foreign children – which will also include proposals for a directive on procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings.
  • The results of the research and the recommendations will be promoted and disseminated in the 5 EU Member States. A continuous advocacy towards national decision makers will be done through meetings and the development of e-digests and articles summarizing the main findings,  gaps and challenges of the project.
  • Study visits and exchanges will be organized between judicial professionals: professionals will be able to exchange with their peers in order to identify potential for  replication of noteworthy practices in their own national systems.  
  • An international conference will be organised to promote the handbook for legal practitioners and to shed light on the noteworthy practices identified throughout the research process and boost their potential for replication in other countries.  

Type and number of persons benefiting from the project
- 150 law enforcement professionals and legal practitioners in 15 EU Member States
- 100 foreign children in 5 countries

Partners in the implementation:

  • Rights International Spain
  • Defence for Children International Belgium
  • Hors la Rue
  • Defence for Children International Netherlands
  • Terre des hommes International Federation

The project is implemented with the co-funding of the European Commission's DG Justice.


The project has produced E-Digests on :

Directive 2010/64/EU on the Right to Interpretation and Translation
Directive 2013/48/EU on the Right of Access to a Lawyer
Directive 2012/13/EU on the Right to Information