13 March 2024

UNICEF's training package on child-friendly legal services

In the complex and often daunting world of legal proceedings, the voice and rights of the child can become overshadowed. The 2018 UNICEF Guidelines on Child-Friendly Legal Aid, set out 12 guidelines on how to provide child-friendly legal services and legal aid in practice. Continuing its support in this area, UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) has developed a pioneering Training Package on Child-Friendly Legal Services. This initiative is anchored in our unwavering commitment to championing the rights of every child, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments. The essence of child-friendly legal aid lies in its holistic approach to ensuring that children navigating the justice system are met with compassion, understanding, and the utmost respect for their rights. Whether as witnesses, victims, or accused, children deserve to have their rights fully respected and protected throughout the justice process. The Training Package on Child-Friendly Legal Services is designed to equip lawyers and other legal service providers with the necessary knowledge, attitudes, and skills to deliver legal services that are in the best interests of the child. Key Features of the Training Package: The package includes core modules on children's rights, child development, child-sensitive communication, and privacy, among others. Optional module on strategic litigation is also available, with more to be developed based on evolving needs. Designed for both seasoned practitioners and those new to child-friendly legal services, the training emphasizes interactive learning and practical engagement to foster deep understanding and empathy. The training is rooted in the principles of the CRC, emphasizing the child's right to be heard, non-discrimination, and the prioritization of the child's best interests in all legal proceedings. Tested and refined through training-of-trainers sessions in multiple countries, this package is poised to influence child-friendly legal aid practices globally, with particular attention to the needs of vulnerable children. For more information and to download the training package, please contact iverzivolli@unicef.org