Children are double victims of justice systems

Les enfants, doublement victimes des systèmes de justice

A major world congress on access to justice for children and young people will take place online from November 15th to 19th. One week of conferences and workshops, co-organised by Terre des hommes, will bring together nearly 600 speakers from around the world. They will explore best practices for accelerating non-discrimination of children in contact with the justice system. Each region will present an approach that is relevant to its current events.

Children in contact with the justice system are subjected to indignities every day, based on their gender, sexual orientation, origin, religion, refugee or migrant status. Young people affected by migration often face abusive treatment because of their non-citizen status, and cultural and language barriers reinforce the harm. Sexually exploited children are detained and tried as offenders instead of being recognised as victims. Discrimination manifests itself in many ways: verbal harassment, physical and sexual violence, arbitrary detention, exclusion from care or education.

There will be more than 70 international and regional workshops to move towards non-discriminatory and inclusive child justice systems. Each region approaches the topic according to its own challenges: the injustices suffered by black youth in the United States, access to justice for child soldiers in sub-Saharan Africa, the right to have a nationality and the situation of unaccompanied minors in Europe, the reintegration of children accused of terrorism in Iraq or the fight against violence against girls in the Middle East.

The "World Congress on Justice with Children", co-organised by the Swiss NGO Terre des hommes, will bring together policy makers, civil society representatives and child rights advocates. They will explore best practices to accelerate progress in terms of equal treatment and to strengthen policies for inclusive and non-discriminatory care of children and young people in contact with the justice system.

The event is supported by several UN agencies, the OECD, the Council of Europe and the international law firm Baker McKenzie. The Supreme Court of Mexico will host the Congress from November 15th to 19th. An advisory group of young people under the age of 25 has participated in the conception of the seminar and will intervene in different sessions.

Conferences and workshops are public and free. To consult the program and to register, please visit:

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