News

On the 21st of January, the Council of Europe published a new handbook on children’s participation, titled ‘Listen-Act-Change’, made for professionals working with youth throughout all of Europe. This document acts as a guide for implementing both the Council of Europe Recommendation on the participation of children and young people under the age of 18, and Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which aims to guarantee children’s right to express their opinion freely regarding all issues that affect them, properly bearing their opinions in mind according to their age and maturity.

The new handbook is a tool which combines different modules to explain, in a detailed manner, the concept of child participation in theory and practice, and also guides professionals towards its implementation in different intervention settings, individually, collectively and in specific institutional contexts.

This publication was completed thanks to the voluntary contributions provided by a number of Council of Europe member states (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Luxembourg, Monaco, and Ukraine).  

Read more and access the manual (currently available in English and French): https://www.coe.int/en/web/children/-/-listen-act-change-launch-of-a-new-council-of-europe-guide-on-children-s-participation

The ‘Youth Crime Prevention through Sport’ project, part of UNODC’s Doha Declaration Global Programme, has developed ‘Line Up Live Up’, an initiative on a global scale aimed at preventing youth crime which is based on the power of sport as a tool for peace.

Through this project, coaches, teachers, and other staff in contact with youth groups in a sports setting can tackle fundamental life skills, such as resisting social pressure to get involved with crime or overcoming anxiety and communicating effectively with peers, amongst other things, utilising different exercises and interactive dynamics to achieve this.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) has launched videos and publications to celebrate this.

The Charter was adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in July 1990, and entered into force in November, 1999. Three decades after its adoption, 49 countries have already ratified this instrument. The ACPF has released a report evaluating the progress regarding children’s rights in Africa in these three decades, titled ‘Africa’s 30-year Journey with the African Children’s Charter: Taking Stock, Rekindling Commitment’, which aims to rekindle regional and national commitment to child rights and wellbeing in the continent. Moreover, the ACPF has launched a webpage dedicated to the Charter where they have released a series of videos complementing this publication, which feature the participation of a number of specialists in the field.

The Charter covers a wide range of rights and obligations set out in an innovative and progressive way, reflecting in an appropriate manner the African reality for better progress concerning the rights of the child in Africa. Furthermore, it should be emphasised that this document has been a noted force behind the transformation of African public and political discourse on the rights of the child, promoting a series of advancements in continental efforts and in national laws and policies, thus catalysing a change towards a culture in which children have become visible in discourses on human rights, politics, and development throughout the continent.

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.