The Beirut Bar Association, the EU and UNICEF Develop The first Manual for Lawyers on “Children in Contact with the Law”

01 July 2021
During the launch of the first Manual for Lawyers on “Children in Contact with the Law”
UNICEF2021/Lebanon

Beirut, 1 July 2021 – Every person has the right to adequate legal protection, access to justice and to fair justice proceedings. These rights are particularly crucial for children in contact with the law who, as a result of their young age, require child-sensitive proceedings that cater to their circumstances, and provide them with the needed protection and care.

To advance the knowledge and skills of lawyers dealing with children in contact with the law, the European Union, UNICEF and the Beirut Bar Association – Institute for Human Rights (BBA-IHR) worked collaboratively to develop the first “Children in contract with the Law” training manual, a resource focusing on the role of lawyers in operationalizing judicial safeguards and protection procedures granted to children in contact with the law.

The training manual was developed by a committee chaired by the BBA-IHR with members from the BBA and representatives from the ministries of Justice, Social Affairs, Army Command, Directorate General of the Internal Security Forces and Directorate General of the General Security.

In this context, the President of Beirut Bar Association, Dr. Melhem Khalaf, said:

“Children are more affected by the living and economic situation in which the country is floundering due to the absence of the state and its huge failure to secure the most basic necessities of decent living and human rights. Many families in Lebanon live in a state of extreme poverty, many of them are slipping into misery and destitution, and children are the victims of this situation. One of the BBA’s priorities is to protect children who are in contact with the law, defend them, and build a country that provides them with a safe environment that embraces them and contributes to achieving a better future for them.

“The manual is the first resource of this sort for lawyers in Lebanon and is a result of a constructive partnership. It brings us one step further to more effective justice for children, with the child-friendly procedures at its core, said Rein Nieland, Head of Section, European Commission.

“A child in contact with the law has the right to legal support and the cooperation between UNICEF, the EU and the Bar Association will ensure that no child is left without legal protection in the justice system,” said Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF representative in Lebanon. “We must ensure the best interest of children is protected at any stage of a legal procedure.”

The lawyers training manual provides an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills of lawyers through an institutionalized and sustainable approach so that children in contact with the law have their rights and needs responded to appropriately; raise the awareness of lawyers about the situation of children in contact with the law; provide an understanding of the definitions and best practice to be adopted in judicial and administrative procedures from the moment a child comes in contact with the law to the completion of any measure imposed on him; and enhance coordination and communication between the lawyer and the child, as well as other stakeholders in the process.

Media contacts

Raquel Fernandez
Chief of Communication
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon
Blanche Baz
Communication Specialist
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org/lebanon/.

 

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