In accordance with the main international and EU standards on children’s rights and with the Child Friendly Justice Guidelines (CFJG) of the Council of Europe, children should have access to an adequate treatment in justice.
Listening to children, hearing their views and recommendations, understanding their aspirations and concerns and taking them into account for decision making processes is key for policy and practice to become more appropriate and effective.
It is also a human rights imperative under article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and a prerequisite for achieving compliance with international standards.
International and European bodies have repeatedly encouraged states to adapt their legal systems to the specific needs of children. However national juvenile justice systems do not take CRC into consideration on a permanent basis, which often leads to not considering the real needs of children and adapting the system to them. Including participation and listening (art. 12 CRC) as core elements of actions concerning children is conducive to more efficient practices and improved communication.
Consequently, properly trained professionals working in the context of Juvenile Justice (JJ) on this is one of the first required actions for the purpose of a child-friendly system compliant with children’s rights. The main goal of the project TWELVE is to contribute to the implementation of article 12 of the CRC, in line with the General Comment No. 14 (2013) of the CRC, in the field of JJ at the European level by developing a multidisciplinary training process aimed at strengthening and harmonising the skills and capacities of professionals in addressing children’s rights and specific needs as a key element of an appropriate, efficient and inclusive action. The project will focus on the context of criminal proceedings.