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Thursday 17th of October 2019

IJJO Activities

AWAY - Alternative Ways to Address Youth (JUST/2015/RCHI/AG/PROF)

enero 2017 - diciembre 2018

Description

Juvenile justice systems in Europe have undergone considerable changes during the past 20 years, particularly in the former socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region. These legal and structural changes concerned the implementation of alternative measures, diversion, victim-offender mediation and other restorative techniques in the majority of the countries in the CEE region.

Despite these positive movements, juvenile justice systems still have been characterized by a focus on punishment rather than rehabilitation, prosecution rather than diversion, and on detention rather than community alternatives. These practices often respond to public demands on reacting towards juvenile delinquency by more severe sanctioning. Even though the current legislation in the target CEE countries (Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary) recognises restorative approaches such as mediation, as well as sentences of community service, in most cases, these are rarely imposed. Belgium is also a target country, where restorative approaches are recognised and best practice can be identified (and will be collected throughout the project) however the main actors are still reluctant to use the existing system of diversion/restorative justice and use instead deprivation of liberty as main measure.

In this context of improvement, amongst fluctuations and challenges, in diverting children in conflict with the law from imprisonment, the following determined challenge remains in the target CEE countries: diversion and alternatives to imprisonment are generally less accessible for children from rural areas and the poorest backgrounds. In this way, juvenile justice reforms are confined to the Capital City; data on juvenile sentencing practices in general, and diversion in particular, is not available, incomplete, and in most cases, inaccessible; there is little or no evidence of progress in continued use of services; limited availability of after-care services that support reintegration into society for children who have been in conflict with the law and  juvenile justice professionals often do not use practices in the area of diversion due to lack of services and limited knowledge of child-friendly judicial practices.

It appears that while there are available services and opportunities for diversion, the current measures are not appropriate, effective, or even recorded as such, so while most legislation now recognises diversion, the recognition is characterised by narrow limits. It comes out that introducing diversion not only requires new legal and procedural frameworks, but also a shift in the roles and aims of the juvenile justice systems.

In this regard, the project ‘AWAY - Alternative Ways to Address Youth’ (JUST/2015/RCHI/AG/PROF) seeks to promote the use of diversion in order to have, in practice, a child friendly approach to the juvenile justice system. To address the challenges in this area, this project will conduct research and develop an empirical evidence base on diversion that will inform the juvenile justice in the region; it will provide professional support to multidisciplinary professionals to become more aware and better equipped in using diversion mechanisms and finally; it will endeavour to enhance public awareness on the benefits of diversion for children. 

MAIN ACTIVITIES

• Research in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Romania to identify the challenges or obstacles for the use of diversion and map existing alternative services for children in rural areas.

• Identify and map good practices and experiences in Belgium.

• Work with children at risk or in conflict with the law in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Romania as members of child advisory boards to ensure that their experiences, views, opinions are reflected and considered throughout all project activities.

• Develop and implement an interactive online learning course for multidisciplinary professionals including two face-to-face sessions with professionals in three locations of each country, one-on-one and group mentoring sessions, and online forum discussions.

• Create and launch a public campaign in each country influencing public perceptions about juvenile offenders and promoting alternative sentencing as beneficial for the development of children and their better integration in society as productive members. Specific advocacy events targeting EU Member States and the Council of Europe.

• Publish stories and articles, increasing publicity on the subject.

Click here to go to the project's web section on the IJJO website.

Objetives

This project aims to address the challenges and gaps in terms of services and opportunities in diversion. In particular it aims to:

• Build regional empirical evidence base on diversion in the juvenile justice systems;

• Build upon research, develop and deliver a self-directed e-learning course, as well as one-to-one and group mentoring programmes with multidisciplinary professionals around child-friendly practices in the area of diversion;

• Utilise the research findings and recommendations generated by the training to develop child-friendly and popularized informational materials for children and adults in the target countries;

• Inform both local and regional related policies and plans of action.

To achieve these objectives, all proposed strategies will include child participatory approaches throughout the design, planning and implementation stages.

Results

OUTPUTS

5 national research reports and 1 synthetic report on the factors hindering the better and more frequent use of diversion and child-friendly justice practices, as well as a good practice collection.

• A specialised online platform on juvenile justice.

• Children’s corner on ChildHub that reflects the inputs, opinions and views of children and for children.

10 Child Advisory Group meetings.

1 practical guide on child participatory good practice.

• A self-directed online course on diversion and alternative sentencing available and adapted in 6 languages and hosted both on ChildHub and IJJO’s learning platform.

• At least 1 forum discussion of participating professionals on ChildHub.

4 webinars related and integral part of the capacity building program on diversion.

• At least 5 e-Newsletters, in four languages, reporting and promoting project results and other useful resources related to juvenile justice.

1 public campaign in five countries reaching 5,000 members of the public.

2 regional advocacy events addressing policy and decision-makers

 

EXPECTED RESULTS

• An empirical evidence base on diversion, informing the juvenile justice system in the region.

• Equipping multidisciplinary professionals to use diversion mechanisms more effectively.

Improved public awareness on the benefits of diversion for children.

• The provision of 16 mentors from four countries to provide one-on-one and group mentoring sessions for other professionals

Training 240 professionals from different fields related to juvenile justice

Partners

Coordinator:

Terre des Hommes Foundation “Lausanne”, (Hungary)

 https://www.tdh.ch/en/our-interventions/hungary

Partners:

Brave Phone (Croatia),

http://www.poliklinika-djeca.hr/english/for-kids-and-youth/brave-phone/

Program for the Development of the Judicial System (PDJS) (Bulgaria),

http://prss-bg.org/EN/home

Terre des hommes (Romania),

http://tdh-europe.org/our-work/country/romania

Defence for Children Belgium (DCI) (Belgium),

http://www.dei-belgique.be/en/about-dci/ 

The International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO) (Belgium),

http://www.oijj.org/en

The Global Network for Public Interest Law (PILNET) (Hungary),

http://www.pilnet.org/

Funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union

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

    All rights reserved

  • 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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