This document sets out common civil society position on the Draft Report on the proposal for a directive on procedural safeguards for children of 19 November 2014 (‘the Draft Report’), in advance of the agreement of compromise amendments and the vote in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (‘LIBE’) Committee on 5 February. Most of the signatories to this statement have already contributed thorough briefings discussing the Commission’s original proposal and the Council’s General Approach, to which you are referred for further detail on our positions.
With this proposal the European Union has a unique opportunity to enshrine strong and effective safeguards to protect one of the most vulnerable groups of suspects and accused persons from violations of their human rights in the criminal justice process, including the right to a fair trial. It represents an important part of the broader, interconnected set of measures envisaged by the Roadmap and could significantly strengthen mutual trust between the Member States.
We therefore welcomed the Draft Report’s efforts to ensure judicial protection and its intention to strengthen the proposed Directive’s protection of human rights where the Council’s General Approach has sought to weaken it. The majority of the amendments put forward by the Shadow Rapporteurs also sought to strengthen protection of human rights in the Directive. However, we think it important not to miss the full potential of the Directive to protect the rights of children and believe that further amendments are needed.