Children in judicial proceedings
Children can be involved in judicial proceedings, either directly, as a defendant, victim, witness or indirectly when decisions have a considerable impact on their lives. This can be the case in divorce or custody proceedings. However, judicial systems in Europe are not always adapted to the specific needs of children and their vulnerability.
To encourage judicial systems to adapt to children's needs, the European Commission has:
- carried out a study on children's involvement in civil, administrative and criminal judicial proceedings in the 28 countries of the EU
- proposed legislation: directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime
- proposed legislation: directive 2016/800/EU on special safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings
- promoted the Council of Europe guidelines of 17 November 2010 on child-friendly justice
- supported and encouraged capacity-building activities on child-friendly justice
- Check out EU funding possibilities on rights of the child and violence against children
Conference on child-friendly justice and integrated child protection systems-lessons learned from EU projects
On 25 and 26 June 2018 the European Commission organised
a conference on child-friendly justice and integrated child protection systems – lessons learned from EU projects. The main goal of the meeting was to showcase examples of good practice to inspire others and to take stock of what has been done since 2011/2012 with EU funds under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC), to explore how EU funds can best support implementation and enforcement of the rights of the child, with a view also to informing future policy and funding priorities.
- Training material on child-friendly justice
- European Union Agency for Fundamental rights (FRA): Experiences of professionals on children's participation in civil and criminal judicial proceedings in 10 EU countries
- European Union Agency for Fundamental rights (FRA): Child-friendly justice - Perspectives and experiences of children involved in judicial proceedings as victims, witnesses or parties in nine EU Member States