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Calling for reforms in justice for children

Chisinau, 15 April 2010 – A highly-respected human rights advocate and former Minister of Justice in France Robert BADINTER is visiting Moldova on 15-17 April 2010, to promote juvenile justice reform in the country and to assist the national response in protecting rights of children.

Robert BADINTER is a Senator, criminal lawyer and university professor, widely  known for his struggle against the death penalty and promotion of human rights in France and around the world. While in Moldova, he is visiting pre-trial detention facilities for juveniles and a police detention unit in Chisinau. He is meeting the Moldova officials and civil society activists to discuss and to share international experience in working with children in conflict and contact with the law. He will also give a lecture at the Moldovan State University, where he will be offered the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.
During the last year, especially after the 7 April events, juvenile justice issues have received a lot of attention in Moldova when violence against children in contact with the law was reported. Some other challenges of the justice system include excessive use of pre-trial detention, lengthy sentences, and lack of proper legal assistance. Once a child is accused of a crime, there are no alternatives to formal court proceedings.

Minister of Justice of Moldova Alexandru Tanase highlighted the Government’s commitment to include justice for children in the broader justice reforms, in line with in the EU standards and Convention on the rights of the Child (CRC) requirements on children’s rights protection.

Addressing the journalists Ambassador Dirk Schuebel, Head of the European Union Delegation to Moldova, recalled the need to ensure better dissemination of information on the rights of children, to build juvenile justice system that ensures detention of minors is used as a last resort and is in line with international standards. He also emphasized the EU's support for the reform of the justice sector and promotion of Human Rights through the EU – Moldova Human Rights Dialogue.

UNICEF Representative in Moldova Alexandra Yuster said “The CRC calls on countries to take into account children’s age and potential for reintegration when they come in conflict with the law. Children can learn from their mistakes and should be taught to respect the rights of others –good juvenile justice practices must reflect this.  On behalf of UNICEF, we appreciate the support of the Government of Moldova in hosting this advocacy visit. We believe it will advance the debate and contribute to justice and overall human rights reforms, ensuring children’s interests and rights remain an important part of the picture.”

The visit is organized by UNICEF and the French Embassy in Moldova, in cooperation with the EU delegation and the Council of Europe.

Prior to his visit to Moldova Robert Badinter visited Ucraine on 14-15 April 2010 to advocate for protection of the rights of the children. 



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