Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court Chair and UNICEF discuss juvenile justice
ASTANA, 16 January 2014 - UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Kazakhstan Jun Kukita has met with Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kairat Mami to discuss the Justice for Children development in Kazakhstan for better protection of child victims, witnesses and alleged offenders.
Jun Kukita stressed the important role of the judiciary system in the children’s justice and highlighted the roles of the Supreme Court in establishment of specialised courts for children in Kazakhstan making it a unique experience for the CEE/CIS region. The Kazakhstan’s specialised courts for children process criminal, administrative and civil cases involving children, review cases when the child is both victim and perpetrator of a crime. The establishment of the specialized courts allows child sensitive administration of justice which is a big step forward towards the compliance with international standards.
The meeting also highlighted the 20th Anniversary of the ratification of the Convention by Kazakhstan. Millions of children in Kazakhstan have since then benefitted from increased government actions and spending on education, health, social programmes and justice for children. Many national legal documents and policies were improved in order to make them compliant to this international treaty.
During the meeting the parties reached a mutual agreement to assess and document the experience of Kazakhstan’s specialised courts for children and present it to the international community. The meeting also stressed importance of protecting the rights of child victims and witnesses of crime in judicial proceedings as this group of children is in need of support and special protection measures.
Jun Kukita expressed the opinion on the need to support the work of specialised children’s court with social and psychological services for children as well as to introduce diversion of children in conflict with the law at the pre-trial stage which would contribute to reducing stigma of children, decreasing courts’ workload ad preventing reoffending. It was also highlighted that mediation with the participation of children should be reviewed and made oriented towards child’s ability to understand the guilt, realize the consequence of a committed illegal act and his/her ability to restore the harm to the victim without resorting to financial restitution, when possible.