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Prominent French human rights advocate Robert Badinter calls for protection of juveniles’ rights in Ukraine

© UNICEF Ukraine/2007/R.Few
Badinter calls to protect rights of juveniles in Ukraine

Kyiv, 14 April 2010 – A highly-respected human rights advocate and former Minister of Justice in France Robert BADINTER visits Ukraine on 13-14 April 2010, upon the invitation of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). BADINTER comes to promote juvenile justice reform in country and to assist the national response in protecting rights of children.

During the last two decades juvenile justice issues have received a lot of attention in Ukraine and worldwide. In Ukraine, currently about 15,000 crimes are committed by juveniles each year. There are 10 facilities for convicted juveniles with about 1,100 juveniles detained. Also, there are 32 centres for pre-trial detention that have sections with about 1,000 juveniles detained for investigation period.

Robert BADINTER is a distinguished high-profile French criminal lawyer, university professor and politician, mainly known for his struggle against death penalty and promotion of juveniles rights in France. While in Ukraine, he is visiting detention facilities for juveniles including pre-trial and trial facilities in Kyiv and Odesa and a school of their social rehabilitation. He is meeting the Ukrainian officials and civil society activists to discuss and to share French experience in working with juveniles in conflict with the law.
Speaking at the press conference in Kyiv, Robert BADINTER said “Justice for juveniles is a major moral and democratic issue for all the societies. We are encouraging the Ukrainian authorities to build up a comprehensive system to address the juvenile offenders with three major components: protection, prevention, education.” “The way the society treats its juveniles is the way these juveniles will treat their society when become adults,” he continued.
Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Valeriya LUTKOVSKA highlighted the Government’s priorities in the children’s rights protection and the Ministry’s initiative to develop the concept and to adopt national juvenile justice programme.

Addressing the journalists Ambassador José Manuel PINTO TEIXEIRA, Head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine, recalled the EU's support to a pilot project on restorative justice which helped develop a system of reintegration rather than punishment for young offenders. He also emphasized the EU's support to projects and programmes which support vulnerable children in Ukraine as well as multi-million euro support programme to the reform of the justice sector.

Ambassador of France to Ukraine Jacques FAURE said “I am sure that the visit of such a renowned French human rights advocate as Robert BADINTER will bring attention of public and decision-makers to juveniles’ problems and share relevant international experience”.

UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine Olivier ADAM called to advance the protection of children's rights in Ukraine and assured that the UN system in Ukraine stands ready to provide further support to the Government and civil society on the path of further improvements.

UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie MOKUO concluded “On behalf of UNICEF, we appreciate the support of the Government of Ukraine in hosting this advocacy visit. I believe it will contribute immensely in improving prevention of child crime more effectively and implementation of re-socialisation programmes for children in detention.”

Following his visit to Ukraine Robert Badinter will visit Moldova on 15-16 April 2010 to advocate for protection of the rights of the juveniles. 

For more information please contact: Veronika Vashchenko, Communication Officer, UNICEF Ukraine at vvashchenko@unicef.org, +38.044.230.2514; Andriy Haidamashko, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF Ukraine at ahaidamashko@unicef.org, +38.044.230.2439. 
 
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EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert BADINTER is a distinguished high-profile French criminal lawyer, university professor and politician. He is renowned civil liberties advocate mainly known for his struggle against death penalty. A member of the Socialist Party, he served as Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seal. Then, he was appointed President of Constitutional Council of the French Republic, for a period of nine years. From 1989, Robert BADINTER has been called for expertise work on constitutional problems in the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. Currently, he is a Senator for the Hauts-de-Seine department. Born in Paris on 30 March 1928.

About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 150 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997. More information about UNICEF activities in Ukraine at www.unicef.org.ua 

 

 
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