Juvenile Justice Topic of the First Regional Conference of Judges and Prosecutors in South East Europe
Skopje, 28 November 2008: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Representative, Mr. Sheldon Yett and Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. Ibrahim Ibrahimi opened today a conference to discuss issues related to juvenile justice and making judicial reform work for children. Judges and other professionals from Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro have come to Skopje for the conference
“The aim of juvenile justice systems should be the rehabilitation and reintegration into society of those children in conflict with the law, not their punishment,” said UNICEF Country Representative Mr. Sheldon Yett. “The police, the courts and other pillars of justice must be sensitive to the needs of children.”
The conference has been organised as part of the Government’s national plan for action for implementation of the juvenile justice law. During the conference experts will discuss the main characteristics of procedures for working with juveniles in the domestic courts, share experiences in working with children at risk, and best practices in implementing of alternative measure and mediation.
“This conference is a continuation of the activities that the Academy is implementing to support juvenile justice reform,” highlighted Ms. Aneta Arnaudova, Director of the Academy for Training of Judges and Prosecutors. “Basic training for judges and prosecutors has been completed and a specialized training module, to be included in the continual education programme, is also currently being developed.”
According to the Convention of the Rights of the Child, States should promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and institutions specifically applicable to children accused of violating the law. Among other measures, “Child friendly” judicial systems should protect children’s privacy in court proceedings, ensure that children are not detained with adult offenders and have staff that are specifically trained and are knowledgeable of children’s rights.
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