The IJJO is beginning a new phase in its work, distinguished mainly by its encouragement of participation, agility, flexibility and optimisation of resources, but with the same objective of working to promote the rights of children and young people who come into contact with justice systems, and contributing to the implementation of the international standards which guarantee these rights.

This has led us to renovate our website with a new design and a new version of the content management system with improved functionalities in navigation and security.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child is currently drafting a general comment on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment. In March 2019, the Committee invited all interested parties to comment on the concept note of the general comment. Submissions on the concept note can be found here.

The ‘Child-Friendly JT’ project has produced six leaflets – three for children, and a further three aimed at their parents or legal guardians – with information on the rights of children who are suspected or accused in criminal proceedings in the EU. The project is co-funded by the Justice Programme of the European Union.  Due to the interest in the leaflets from a diverse range of public institutions in the field of juvenile justice, 3000 additional copies have been printed after the finalisation of the project, intented for distribution to these organisations.

Violence and bullying in schools, including physical, psychological and sexual harassment, is a global issue which negatively impacts both students’ learning, and their mental and emotional health. UNESCO has recently published two reports which focus on SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression or Identity) based school violence and bullying, in Asia and in Europe. 

On 25 and 26 June 2018, the European Commission held a conference on child-friendly justice and integrated child protection systems, with a special focus on the results and outputs of the EU projects carried out in these areas. The conference had two objectives: 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), in order to help inform future policy and practice. 

The European Commission network RAN (Radicalisation Awareness Network) brings together frontline or grassroots practitioners from around Europe to share experiences and knowledge, as well as providing a global platform to pool expertise in order to tackle radicalisation.

As part of the ‘Implementing Restorative Justice with Child Victims’ project, three videos were produced, providing insight on restorative justice in Bulgaria, France, and Latvia. Each video features information on restorative justice from professionals in their respective countries. Throughout the videos we learn about various organisations in these countries that are working to help children through restorative justice.

‘Advancing the Defence Rights for Children’ is a project led by Fair Trials International and carried out in collaboration with four partner organisations, including the IJJO. It is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union. Its overall objective is to support defence lawyers to improve skills and knowledge in order to provide effective assistance to children in criminal proceedings. The project does so by developing an adaptable and interdisciplinary training programme, which focuses on interactive exercises to apply skills in practice, as well as training that responds to local needs. 

Among the resources published by the ‘AWAY - Alternative Ways to Address Youth’ project, today we bring the spotlight to a facilitators manual, the ‘Juvenile Justice A to Z’ brochure for children and young people, and a report on juvenile diversion in Romania. These materials stand alongside and support the other resources produced within the framework of the project – including an online course, a video on restorative justice in Belgium, and a European synthesis report

On 29th January, the second steering group meeting of the European project ´Child-friendly JT - The right of minors to information, translation and interpretation in criminal proceedings: development of child-friendly tools´ took place in Verona (Italy). This project is financed by the European Commission’s Justice Programme. It is led by Fundación Diagrama and has partners from different European organisations: the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (Belgium), Istituto Don Calabria (Italy), Hope for Children (Cyprus), Social Activities and Practices Institute (Bulgaria) and Udruga MoSt (Croatia).