Building an economic case for a child-friendly justice

Date: 8th May 2015
Category: General measures of implementation

Eurochild has published a report which includes recommendations to build an economic case for child-friendly justice, including special emphasis on allocating sufficient budgets for data collection and sharing, cross-sectorial work and capacity building for professionals.

This report has was launched on 5th May 2015, following the organisation of the workshop "Building an economic case for a child-friendly justice" at the Annual Eurochild Conference 2014 in Bucharest (Romania), Eurochild has published the report together with the Embassy of France in Romania and the International Juvenile Justice Observatory.

The report also includes special emphasis on a review of legislation to shift from a punitive to an educative approach, and calls for a review of any punitive legislation which does not respect the rights of the young people in conflict with the law.

The document identifies immediate possible steps for key stakeholders, including demonstrating how child-friendly policies can be linked with efficient expenditure to prevent youth crime, as part of justice reforms. The document also recognises the need to revise and allocate sufficient budgets to child justice and make necessary adjustments for the creation of new prevention services and alternative to detention services for young offenders.

The report states that investing sufficient resources to implement reforms in juvenile justice has three major benefits in terms of social return on investment:

  1. Ensuring protection of children and young people, especially the ones from most vulnerable households at risk of social exclusion.
  2. Ensuring real opportunities for children and young people to be fully integrated and active in today and tomorrow's society, with proper access to education, health, social services, and the labour market.
  3. Aiming for safer societies: preventing youth crime and reducing risk factors that lead children to crime.

The report also recognises the importance of ensuring that children and young people are consulted in all of these measures when improving justice systems. This is in line with Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which requires State Parties to assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child (the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child).