Eurochild attends conference on children's access to justice

The event highlighted the need for tailored and targeted measures adapted to children’s age, maturity and evolving capacities

On 3 June, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and UNICEF, in partnership with the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights organised an event on “Prioritizing access to justice for all children in Europe and beyond”.

The first session, chaired by MEP Caterina Chinnici, Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights, focused on highlights of recent evidence on children’s access to justice, showing that tailored and targeted measures adapted to children’s age, maturity and evolving capacities are needed to ensure that all children in contact with the justice system, whether as victims, suspects, witnesses or parties to any legal proceedings, are protected and assisted in claiming their rights. It was also stressed that measures are needed to tackle social norms that tolerate violence against children and make it challenging for children to seek and obtain redress.

Participants including policy makers and practitioners then discussed challenges and ideas to ensure that all children, especially the most vulnerable, have access to equitable, fair and inclusive justice.

In her concluding remarks MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, Vice-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights stressed the importance of adopting the proposed  directive on procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings, the need to include all information on children’s access to justice in the EU Justice Scoreboard, and that part of the EU funding has to be dedicated to this issue and to training of professionals.

Find more information about the presented reports below:

Read here the joint position paper on the draft Directive on procedural safeguards for children suspects or accused in criminal proceedings issued by IJJO and Eurochild (January 2015).