Children encounter the justice system as victims, witnesses, because they are in conflict with the law or as parties in civil proceedings, such as in custody-related cases.
A justice system that is fully harmonised with the principle of the best interests of the child is essential for all children, particularly for children from vulnerable and dysfunctional families.
Out of the total number of reported children in conflict with the law, diversionary measures are applied before criminal proceedings in only 9.5 % of cases.
UNICEF supports changes that help ensure the full protection of all children, and in particular children victims of crime, especially when providing testimonies in court and when overcoming trauma of violence, abuse or other criminal acts.
We are helping to build a system based on the ‘best interests of the child’ in judicial proceedings, one in which child participation is supported when decisions are made about their custody, care and protection.