Knowledge of the laws allows the child not only to refrain from illegal acts, but also not to become a victim of violence and deceit
For children and adolescents to know their rights and be able to protect them, they need to be told about the rights in an understandable way. Lack of legal literacy is often the cause of delinquency among young people. Legal awareness allows the child not only to refrain from illegal acts, but also not to become a victim of violence and deceit.
It is important for every teenager to understand how to behave in a situation where s/he faces the law, whether s/he violated it or has become a victim of somebody’s deed.
In order for young people to understand their rights, as well as the arrangements for getting legal assistance in Belarus:
- We launched the Children's Legal Library educational project together with our partners (the National Center for Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus (NCLI) with the financial support of the UK Government). The project involves drafting comments understandable to children on the fundamental laws that impact the rights and legitimate interests of the child. This is an essential step towards ensuring that lawyers speak the same language with children when they set rules of conduct for minors. We have already adapted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and work is underway to adapt other laws.
- UNICEF — with the support of its partners — has launched the Children's Legal Website, where all legal information is presented in an entertaining and accessible way, including online games.
- We have launched a Telegram chat bot with free legal assistance for teenagers and the Lawyer mobile app. It will help adolescents and their parents understand their rights, as well as the mechanisms for getting legal assistance in Belarus. The app lists contact details of Belarusian lawyers who can be contacted for help. If a teenager is in a difficult life situation, then s/he can use the app to find tools for emergency psychological assistance and s/he will be able to get a free counselling confidentially via the Children's Lawyer Telegram chat bot (@kids_lawyer_bot). A teenager can use interactive video stories to test her/his knowledge of her/his rights and get an answer on how to follow the law in a given situation.