Presentation of the Results of the “Juvenile Justice System Reform” Project (October 2008 - April 2010)
PODGORICA, April 28, 2010 – Miraš Radović, Minister of Justice, Dr Suad Numanović, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Nicola Bertolini, Head of Operations in the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, and Noala Skinner, UNICEF Montenegro Representative, will open the conference aimed at presenting the key results of the „Juvenile Justice System Reform Project” in hotel “Podgorica” on April 28, 2010 at 10:00am. The project has been implemented by the Government of Montenegro since October 2008 with help from UNICEF and financial support from the European Union worth 500.000 euros.
One of the key project results is drafting of the first ever Law on Juvenile Justice, which is expected to be adopted by the Parliament of Montenegro in the second half of 2010. For the first time, all the provisions on juvenile justice are gathered into one legal text and the legislation on juveniles is separated from the one for adults. The Project contributed to the specialization of juvenile justice professionals, which is an essential precondition for creating a separate juvenile justice system. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, states should seek to promote establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and institutions specifically dealing with children accused of or recognized as having infringed the penal law. This includes ensuring adequate treatment of children during the judicial process and the procedures within police and social welfare settings. Therefore, adoption of the first ever Juvenile Justice Law, which fully integrates internationally recognized principles, together with capacity building for its successful implementation, strengthening of preventive work with children and families and promotion of community based alternatives to criminal prosecution and institutionalization of children, represent a milestone for Montenegro’s judiciary and social welfare system.
Juveniles who benefit from preventive and community-based rehabilitation programmes are more likely to: understand the causes and consequences of their behavior; accept responsibility for their actions; become aware of the impact of such behavior on others and comply with social norms. They are also less likely to reoffend. For that reason, strengthening of preventive work with children and families at risk and promoting educational measures instead of punitive ones for juveniles in conflict with the law represent key project results. Around 60 children participated actively in the project and more than 250 juvenile justice professionals were trained on international standards related to the rights of children in conflict with the law and on family counseling programmes for children and families at risk. The project also contributed to the strengthening of cooperation between the judiciary and social welfare systems, which is a key precondition for preventing juvenile delinquency and improving treatment of children in conflict with the law.
For additional information, please contact:
Ms. Jelena Perović, Communication Officer, UNICEF Montenegro; Phone: +382 20 224 277 Ext. 3; Fax: +382 20 224 278; Mobile: +382 69 225 315; Email: email@example.com; Website: www.unicef.org/montenegro
Mr. Dragan Mugoša, Press and Media Officer, Delegation of European Union in Montenegro; Phone: +382 20 444 600; Fax:+382 20 444 666; Mobile: 069 126 612; E-mail: Dragan.MUGOSA@ec.europa.eu