Ways of improving the juvenile justice systems in Europe were discussed at a round table meeting on Tuesday, hosted by the NGO “Hope for Children” with the participation of the authorities and local stakeholders.
The meeting was organised by “Hope for Children” in the context of a European Commission project entitled “Improving Juvenile Justice Systems in Europe: Training for Professionals”, co-funded by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme and coordinated by the International Observatory of Juvenile Justice (IJJO), a “Hope for Children” press release says.
Addressing the meeting, Andria Neocleous, Director of the Humanitarian Division of “Hope for Children” UNCRC Policy Center, “highlighted the cooperation between the Institution and the intensively active IJJO and the other numerous partners from 11 countries around EU.”
She proposed, inter alia, the establishment of “a national coalition within which the existing experience and the expertise of all parties will be transferred and shared as to improve all aspects of the society’s response against this phenomenon: prevention, respect for the rights, reintegration.”
A percentage of 12% of the total minor population of the EU amounting to 1,000,000 children are in conflict with law according to Policy and Advocacy Officer of the policy center Vaggelis Gettos. According to him the goals of the project are to contribute in the improvement of the juvenile justice systems in EU, enhance the child-friendly character of the systems, support Member States, make the voice of children a priority of the systems.
Kristina Markou, Coordinator of the Child Protection Department of the policy center, presented the main provisions of a manual on the rights of children offenders in legal proceedings compiled by the IJJO in cooperation with the Child Law Department of the Leiden University.