Why legal assistance is so important?
Far too often children are locked up in prison conditions which often do not meet the international criteria; sometimes with adults, sometimes for very minor offences or no offences at all.

Nevertheless the right to defence and legal representation is a fundamental one. Children left alone without any independent legal counsel are not only deprived of their voice, but are also subject to numerous abuses as they are often intimidated and not aware of their rights, although these are guaranteed by almost all of the countries in the world.

Who is responsibible for the violation of these rights?
National level: until now some governments (though they acceded to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed in 1989) did not implement specific laws providing a proper juvenile justice system and legal representation for children in conflict with the law

Local level: police officers, guardians etc. often fail to comply with international standards regarding young offenders

Economic/Social/Cultural obstacles: limited resources of lawyers (especially in LDC countries), conservative and severe approach in some cultures (indigenous African cultures, Asian society)

These children need to receive free legal assistance

Children entering in conflict with the law, do so not by choice, but as a result of narrowed opportunities available for their development. These opportunities are even more limited once they have entered the penal system. Children at risk of coming into conflict with the law are frequently victims of abuse and neglect, indifferent and inadequate parenting as well as economic hardships.

Juvenile delinquency is not a story about our success, but a testimony to our failure as a society to provide a protective environment for our children.

Stigmatization of these children serves to exclude them rather than to help their rehabilitation.

Criminalizing child offenders only increases the chances of them becoming adult offenders in the future.

Mission of the campaign
Mission of the campaign
The greatest evil today is indifference. To know and not to act is a way of consenting to these injustices. The planet has become a very small place. What happens in other countries affects us.
The International Juvenile Justice Observatory is conceived as an inter-disciplinary system of information, communication, debates, analysis and proposals concerning different areas which affect the development of juvenile justice in the world. The main objective is the development of minors' and young people's situation so they can acquire the skills they need to become free citizens outside the circuits of exclusion and reclusion. Our investigation is carried out from the global perspective in order to draw comprehensive conclusions.