Login | Register

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

Press Room

IJJO raises the topic of Mental Health for Young Offenders during the 21st Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

Friday 13th of July 2012
IJJO Day by Day
The IJJO organized jointly with UNODC in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Thailand a Side Event “Mental Health and Young Offenders: A challenge for the justice and the health system” in Vienna on the 27th of April 2012, during the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice 2012.

Within the framework of the Mental Health and Young Offenders advocacy activities, the IJJO promotes and develops several advocacy actions. In this occasion, this MHYO Side event aims to raise awareness on the specific needs of vulnerable children with mental health problems, illnesses and disorders in the criminal justice system.

With a wide- expert and professional audience participation, the IJJO had the pleasure to count with panelists such as Dr. Shekhar Saxena, The Director for the Department for Mental Health and Substance Abuse of the World Health Organization (WHO). Ms. Alison Hannah, Penal Reform International’s Executive Director, who focused her presentation on the nature of the problem and the international standards on health care. She also provides good practice examples and the PRI’s experience in this field. She ended up by promoting a holistic and integrated approach to ensure consistent and continuing care and treatment. On the other hand, Kattiya Ratanadilok from the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection of the Ministry of Justice in Thailand explained the situation of young offenders with mental health problems in this country. She pointed out the negative and criminal behaviors of young offenders as a consequence of former psychological problems. Ms Ratanadilok also informed that competent authorities in Thailand are in process of developing assessment tools to classify juveniles.

Therefore, during this MHYO side-event it was stated that in order to upheld the rights of young offenders with mental health problems and to get a common understanding about their needs, an effective collaboration between the health and the justice sector and also a strong involvement of the civil society are crucial.

Thus, to effectively advice countries on the best policies to adapt with regard to young offenders with mental health issues, the IJJO delivered recommendations. The Observatory recommends to the national competent authorities to take effective measures for screening and assessing mental health problems and place the young offender within facilities that are suitable for an effective treatment.

Following the main results of the MHYO project, in order to safeguard the well being of children and young people with mental health issues and to develop adequate training standards for all those work in the Juvenile justice system, the IJJO highlights the importance of sharing knowledge in order to facilitate communication and improve collaboration between the general health care system and the juvenile justice.

At the international level, the IJJO highly recommends to the United Nations agencies working on children´s rights issues to collaborate together in order to raise awareness on specific needs of vulnerable children with mental health issues. And to take the situation of young offenders into consideration when conducting studies on the situation of children within the justice system, in prison or deprived of their liberty.

Finally, IJJO urges the European institutions to take commitments towards the recognition of the needs of young offenders with mental health issues when designing European policies and strategies in the field of justice, health and children’s rights.

  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

    All rights reserved

  • Head Office: Rue Mercelis, nº 50. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience

You can change the settings or get more information here.