OHCHR co-hosts Inter-Agency Panel on Juvenile Justice
On 5-6 April 2011, the Regional Office for Europe co-hosted the Annual Meeting of the
Inter-Agency Panel on Juvenile Justice – which consists of 13 UN agencies and NGOs active in the area of juvenile justice.
Apart from providing a forum for coordination between Panel members, this Brussels edition also included a full day of lively discussions with EU counterparts – both from the European Commission, the European Parliament and Member States.
The debate first focused on a number of forthcoming EU legislative initiatives in the area of criminal justice. Panel members briefed EU counterparts on the rights provided by UN standards and guidelines to child offenders and suspects as well as to child victims and witnesses of crime – to ensure that these are taken into account into future EU legislation in the field. A Member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Mr. Hatem Kotrane, briefed participants on the main challenges currently existing within the EU Member States – ranging from overuse of pre-trial detention to lack of access to a lawyer at all times during the criminal procedure. The tendency towards repressive policies rather than preventative and educative action in some EU countries is worrying. The Panel members and EU representatives also discussed ways to improve juvenile justice systems outside the EU – particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, in the dynamic Middle East and North Africa region and in Latin America, where Panel members are intensely engaged.
Below are some of the presentations made by the Panel members:
6 April 2011