Children’s voices help build EU Child-friendly justice

At the beginning of the interview the psychologist told me he would make me realise I was lying.”

People interviewing me didn't trust my opinion and tried to change my words.”

These are some of the experiences shared by children and young people at an event organised by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) aimed to improve the justice system. Eurochild was invited to support the participation of children and young people at the launch of its second child-friendly justice report in Vienna last week. 

With 40 stakeholders in attendance and five children and young people, the event was aimed to impact policy and improve the EU justice system to make it safe and appropriate for children. The event started with a panel in the morning, where three young people (aged 16-19 years) shared very powerful and brave testimonies of their personal experience with the justice system. Eurochild Secretary General, Jana Hainsworth, gave a closing statement at the panel, highlighting the need for raising awareness about the importance of adults meaningfully engaging with children.

The children shared their experiences during a Q&A session before heading to workshops with other participants in the afternoon. The three children that had spoken in the morning took part in a workshop about the next steps towards making the justice system more child-friendly, while the other two attended a workshop on child participation on social media and in events.

Eurochild staff worked with the young participants online before the event, and met with them for a preparation day in Vienna on the day before the event. This collaboration will continue in preparation for the upcoming FRA high-level conference in Brussels, where the Eurochild network will bring 11 other children from across its membership to discuss the FRA Report on Fundamental Rights 2007-2017, with a specific focus on poverty and migration with a child rights perspective.

Download a checklist for professionals for child-friendly justice