What the DEJURE Foundation is doing to establish a child-friendly justice system?
19.12.2019
During the last three years, the DEJURE Foundation is working to establish a child-friendly justice system in Ukraine. Here is a list of our accomplishments this far.

1
We study best practices of the child-friendly justice, analyse problems that exist in the Ukrainian judiciary and suggest solutions which improve the protection of children in contact or conflict with the law. We have drafted a concept of bill on the child-friendly justice and submitted it to the Ministry of Justice for further elaborations.

2
In 2017 the DEJURE Foundation facilitated the formation of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council on Juvenile Justice. The main objective of this subsidiary body of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is to tackle the obstacles that prevent the establishment of child-friendly justice in Ukraine. The Council helps agencies which protect children in contact or conflict with the law to better coordinate their activities and initiatives. The Council consists of high level officials from the ministries, the National Police, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ombudsperson, the Children's Rights Commissioner for the President, representatives of civil society organizations and international institutions.

3
To enhance the cooperation of multiple stakeholders in the sphere of juvenile justice we've organized a first All-Ukrainian Juvenile Justice Forum. The forum took place in Kyiv last year and united more than 100 experts in juvenille justice from all over the country.

4
We have supported the set up of the pilot project on diversion for juvenills in conflict with the law." This project is successfully implemented by the Coordination Center for Legal Aid Provision and the Prosecutor General's Office. The project provides for the transition of the criminal proceedings against minors from punitive to restorative approach. This approach will help children to avoid the sentence for minor crimes.

The project engages the mediators in the process of reconciliation of the juvenile offenders and the victims. The mediator helps the parties to agree on compensation that suits both of them. The reconciliation and compensation are the grounds for relief from criminal punishment or even criminal liability.

We've also developed guidelines for the mediators participating in the project. Together with our partners from the Institute for Peace and Common Ground we have conducted a series of training for 100 attorneys from the Public Legal Aid system in six regions on mediation in criminal cases against minors. Since March 2019, 63 minors participated in the project and 50 mediation agreements were signed.

5
We are actively working on the transformation of the interrogation of minors into a child-friendly interview. Therefore we have developed methodological recommendations and conducted a series of trainings for judges, attorneys, prosecutors and police officers on this matter.

Also, we have drafted guidelines for judges, investigators, prosecutors and attorneys on specific aspects of interviewing minors. These guidelines were read by more than 1600 visitors of our website, guidelines for judges were distributed among them by the National School of Judges.

We've also drafted guidelines for children on how to communicate with the law officers, which in plain language explains the stages of court proceedings, all parties of the process and which rights the children have while being interviewed.

6
We've created and presented a Interactive map with policies, programs and projects for the prevention of offenses among minors - a platform that contains successful practices of the restoration of the minors convicted of crimes. The project is created for anyone who works in the sphere of juvenile justice and will be helpful for those who actively support minors in conflict with the law.
DJR
Find out more