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Prominent French human rights advocate Badinter to visit Ukraine

UNICEF engages prominent French human rights advocate R.Badinter to promote juvenile justice in Ukraine

What:  A highly-respected human rights advocate and former Minister of Justice in France, Robert BADINTER, will visit Ukraine on 13-14 April 2010, upon the invitation of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). BADINTER comes to promote juvenile justice reform in country. He is going to visit detention centres for children including pre-trial and trial facilities and school of their social rehabilitation in Kyiv and Odesa. Also, he will meet with the Ukrainian officials and civil society activists to discuss and to share French experience in working with juveniles in conflict with the law. The press-conference of Robert BADINTER will be held at 12:00 on April 14.

Who:  Human rights advocate, ex-Minister of Justice of France Robert BADINTER; Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Valeriya LUTKOVSKA; Deputy Head of State Department of Penal Implementation of Ukraine Mykola ILTIAY; Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine José Manuel PINTO TEIXEIRA, Ambassador of France to Ukraine Jacques FAURE; UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine Olivier ADAM and UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie MOKUO.  
When/Where: The press conference will take place on 14 April 2010 at 12:00 at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine (provulok Ryls’ky 10, 2nd floor).

The journalists are invited to register and to confirm attendance by 10.00, 14 April 2010 – please contact UNICEF Communication Officer Veronika Vashchenko: 254.24.50, 067.927.60.38.

During the last two decades juvenile justice issues have received a lot of attention in Ukraine and worldwide.  In Ukraine, from 1992 till 2003, the number of offences committed by juveniles increased dramatically, and has been falling since then, however, currently about 15,000 – 17,000 crimes are committed by juveniles each year. There are 10 facilities for convicted juveniles with about 1,100 juveniles detained. Also, there are 32 centres for pre-trial detention that have sections with about 1,000 juveniles detained for investigation period.

Ukraine has been making progress in juvenile justice system development but more needs to be done to ensure the protection of children’s rights in the justice and law enforcement system. There is a need in reforming the juvenile justice system to prevent child crime more effectively, to implement re-socialisation programmes for children in detention and to apply deprivation of liberty to children as the last resort.

In order to assist the national response and to share best expertise in juvenile justice, the UNICEF regional office has initiated the visit of the prominent human rights activist Robert BADINTER to Ukraine and Moldova. While in Ukraine, he will meet the senior officials, human rights activists, and visit detention and special educational facilities for children who committed law offences.

Robert BADINTER is a distinguished high-profile French criminal lawyer, university professor and politician. He is renowned civil liberties advocate mainly known for his struggle against death penalty. A member of the Socialist Party, he served as Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seal. Then, he was appointed President of Constitutional Council of the French Republic, for a period of nine years. From 1989, Robert BADINTER has been called for expertise work on constitutional problems in the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. Currently, he is a Senator for the Hauts-de-Seine department. Born in Paris on 30 March 1928.



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