The IJJO and Eurochild welcome the Directive proposal as a positive as well as necessary development in the framework of the European Institutions’ commitment to promote child-friendly justice, which is part of the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child and directly inspired by the Guidelines on Child Friendly Justice of the Council of Europe.
In particular, given the recent European progress to reach higher standards for procedural safeguards, part of the roadmap on procedural rights of 2009, specifying heightened standards of protection for children as persons with specific needs is especially relevant. In this light, we hope that this directive can be more than a mere collection of minimum safeguards, and inspires Member States’ reforms. To fulfil this purpose, and become a true trigger of juvenile justice developments, the text needs to be ambitious and sufficiently specific.
We therefore believe that some amendments in the text would be instrumental to set ambitious goals for reform, to guarantee and to align the directive with International and European standards1 concerning the adequate and effective protection of children in the domain of justice.