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Promoting the implementation of Article 12 of the CRC in the juvenile justice system

Twelve Ver PurpleIn accordance with the main international and EU standards on children's rights and with the Child Friendly Justice Guidelines (CFJG) of the Council of Europe, children should have access to an adequate treatment in justice.

Listening to children, hearing their views and recommendations, understanding their aspirations and concerns and taking them into account for decision making processes is key for policy and practice to become more appropriate and effective.

It is also a human rights imperative under article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and a prerequisite for achieving compliance with international standards.

International and European bodies have repeatedly encouraged states to adapt their legal systems to the specific needs of children. However national juvenile justice systems do not take CRC into consideration on a permanent basis, which often leads to not considering the real needs of children and adapting the system to them. Including participation and listening (art. 12 CRC) as core elements of actions concerning children is conducive to more efficient practices and improved communication.

Consequently, properly trained professionals working in the context of Juvenile Justice (JJ) on this is one of the first required actions for the purpose of a child-friendly system compliant with children's rights. The main goal of the project TWELVE is to contribute to the implementation of article 12 of the CRC, in line with the General Comment No. 14 (2013) of the CRC, in the field of JJ at the European level by developing a multidisciplinary training process aimed at strengthening and harmonising the skills and capacities of professionals in addressing children's rights and specific needs as a key element of an appropriate, efficient and inclusive action. The project will focus on the context of criminal proceedings.

To achieve this goal the project will be structured around three interlinked pillars:

  • analytical national activities to properly assess the real needs both of children in conflict with the law and professionals working with them in 3 EU countries (IT, BE, ES); The reports are now available at this link. 
  • training activities to develop and replicate a multidisciplinary training program aimed at improving the understanding of the CRC and informing professionals about how to implement its provisions in their daily practice in 6 countries (IT, BE, ES, BG, GR, EE); a Training Programme and an Handbook will be soon available.
  • dissemination activities to ensure a European dimension as well as to share information and exchange ideas among professionals involved in JJ within the EU.

The TWELVE initiative will last 18 months (from 1st October 2015) and will involve the following partners:

  • Defence for Children international Italia
  • Defence for Children international Belgium
  • Defence for Children international Spain
  • ARSIS Greece
  • Pulse Foundation Bulgaria
  • Tartu University Estonia


pdfDownload the brochure of the project 


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Project co-funded by the Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme of the European Union

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