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Monday 15th of July 2019

Press Room

First meeting of the IJJO led project ‘Improving Juvenile Justice Systems in Europe’

Friday 27th of November 2015
IJJO Day by Day

The first steering committee meeting for the project ‘Improving Juvenile Justice Systems in Europe: Training for Professionals’ was held in Brussels, Belgium, on the 7th and 8th of October.  The International Juvenile Justice Observatory leads this project, co-funded by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union. During the meeting, experts in juvenile justice discussed the project’s scope and associated training materials. 


The project’s main objective is to define and implement training to improve European Union youth justice systems and to understand where they can be made more efficient and more child-friendly, concentrating on a better implementation of the Guidelines of the Council of Europe on Child Friendly Justice and international standards. The training has a special focus on the right to be heard and on the improvement of communication by professionals.

The project focuses on the development of training methodology to improve national juvenile justice systems and will allow the exchange of promising practices concerning juvenile offenders subject to sanctions or measures. An emphasis is put on the importance of developing individualised programs for children in conflict with the law, and developing specific knowledge for professionals concerning children’s rights, communication with children and preparation for release. The project consists of training modules on the creation of child-friendly justice and follows a two part approach:

- Training of trainers, which focuses on capacity building for juvenile justice stakeholders.

- National interdisciplinary workshops on child-friendly justice - for defenders, social workers, healthcare professionals, penitentiary staff, etc.- which follow the recommendations of the IJJO White Paper ‘Save Money, Protect Society and Realise Youth Potential - Improving Youth Justice Systems during a Time of Economic Crisis’, in particular how to and why assess the needs of children in conflict with the law deprived of liberty, with a special interest in promoting alternative measures and restorative approaches.

The meeting was the occasion to prepare the content of the training package (toolkit, manual and video) as well as the methodology of the “Training the trainers” session of January 2016 (last week of January) and finally draft the content of the National workshops. The experts established the scope of the training, determined the nature of the stakeholders to be covered by the training, and decided on the characteristics of the target group.

The IJJO coordinates this project, whose other partners are the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (Vienna, Austria), Hope for Children - UNCR Policy Centre (Cyprus), Rubikon Centrum (Czech Republic), Association Diagrama (France), the Greek  Ministry of Justice (Greece), Istituto Don Calabria (Italy), Providus Center (Latvia), the Portuguese  Ministry of Justice (Portugal), Fundación Diagrama (Spain), Include Youth (N.I., United Kingdom), the Finish Forum for Mediation (Finland) and The University of Cork (Ireland).

The experts who participated in this first meeting were the following:

- Mr. Ton Liefaard, Leiden Law School, University of Leiden (The Netherlands)

- Ms Stephanie Rap, Leiden Law School, University of Leiden (The Netherlands)

- Mr Cédric Foussard, International Juvenile Justice Observatory

- Ms Adélaïde Vanhove, International Juvenile Justice Observatory

- Ms Kate Moffett, Include Youth (N.I., United Kingdom)

- Ms Avril Calder, International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates

- Mr Roberto Rivello, Council of Europe

- Ms Maria José Bernuz, Faculty of Law of Zaragoza (Spain)

- Ms Els Dumortier, Crime and society Research, Vrije Universiteit of Brussels (Belgium)

- Ms Florence Brion, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Belgium)

Co-funded Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union

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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

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  • Head Office: Rue Mercelis, nº 50. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

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