Adapting justice systems to the child
It means creating a justice system which guarantees the respect and the effective implementation of all children’s rights, giving due consideration to the child’s level of maturity and understanding and to the circumstances of the case. In particular, this means that justice systems should be: accessible, age-appropriate, inclusive, speedy, diligent, adapted to and focused on the needs and rights of the child, respecting the rights of the child including the rights to due process, to participate in and to understand the proceedings, in respect of private and family life.
An approach grounded in International Standards
This approach is based on the International Convention on the Rights of the Child of the United Nations but also on the Council of Europe guidelines on child friendly justice.
These were created by a group of specialists after an extensive consultation with almost 3800 children throughout Europe. The final result is a set of guidelines that are intended to enhance children’s access to and their treatment in justice. These guidelines set out basic rules for European states to follow when adapting their justice systems to the specific needs of children. They apply in all circumstances in which children are likely, on any ground and in any capacity, to be in contact with the criminal, civil or administrative justice system. The guidelines promote the principles of the best interests of the child, care and respect, participation, equal treatment and the rule of law. They also encourage the development of multidisciplinary approaches and training and require states to provide safeguards at all stages of proceedings.
CHILD FRIENDLY JUSTICE ENSURES: