News

The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) is a Pan-African, non-profit institution that engages in policy research and dialogue with the aim of advancing the well-being of children in Africa. In connection with its research into the challenges faced by children in conflict zones, it has recently published a report that investigates the experiences of children who are arrested and detained by the state due to their alleged associations with armed groups. ‘Deprived of Liberty, Denied Justice: Double Jeopardy for Children in Conflict Situations in Africa’ calls for children in conflict zones to be treated primarily as victims, not as perpetrators or a threat to the security of the state.
Reinserta is a non-profit organisation that specialises in the care and protection of children in contact with violence in Mexico. It has recently published the study ‘Niñas, niños y adolescentes en contacto con el Sistema de Justicia Penal en México’ (‘Children and Teenagers in Contact with the Criminal Justice System in Mexico’). This publication is the result of 71 interviews and 103 questionnaires carried out in seven Mexican states with children in contact with the justice system, as well as their caregivers and different authorities within the system.
The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) has recently released a new report on the alarming imposition of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences in the United States.
The Children (Care and Justice) Bill was passed in the Scottish Parliament on the 25th of April, enshrining in law age-appropriate justice and care for vulnerable young people across the country. This is part of wider work to embed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Scottish law.
The Centre for Justice Innovation has recently published a report that investigates the effectiveness of diversion processes for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England and Wales and suggests ways to improve their access to appropriate diversion. It includes insights from children with SEND as well as professionals from police and youth justice services. This report highlights the need for the youth justice system to be tailored also towards children with SEND, with professionals who know how to address the common needs arising from SEND in order to avoid disproportionality and escalation of situations, enhance the experience for all children, and align with the Child First approach. The report advocates for providing specialized training to police officers and other professionals who may come into contact with these children and who could help them access diversion options. It also advocates for protocols to ensure that children with SEND can receive adequate and accessible legal advice.  
The United Nations Task Force, which comprises all UN agencies, mandates and special mechanisms, has released the advocacy brief "End Immigration Detention of Children" under the coordination of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children.
The organisation Juvenile Justice Advocates International, which works towards the reform of juvenile justice systems in the US and Mexico, has recently published a guide that compiles the principal standards held at the international level regarding children deprived of liberty, seeking their practical applications in detention centres in these countries.
The Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice has recently published an info-sheet to analyse the ‘Child First’ strategic approach, which guides the actions of the Youth Justice Board of England and Wales (YJB) the body responsible for overseeing the youth justice system.
Twelve of Australia’s Children’s Commissioners, Guardians and Advocates have signed an open letter addressed to Commonwealth, State and Territory Attorneys-General, asking them to raise the age of minimum criminal responsibility for children to at least 14 years old.
UNICEF has published the report ‘Free and safe to protest’, highlighting the necessary conditions to protect and promote children’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly, which is considered “important for their personal development, their participation in political and public affairs, and for catalysing local, national and global change.”