As the IJJO led project ‘Improving Juvenile Justice Systems in Europe: Training for Professionals’ reaches its conclusion with a final conference this February in Valencia (Spain), all the various materials produced are now available on the IJJO website for a wide-reaching training on child-friendly justice and the right of the child to be heard across several EU member states.
These materials are divided into four key outputs: a Manual, translated in 11 languages; a Toolkit for Professionals; a series of videos featuring young people in conflict with the law; and a corresponding online training course from the International School of Juvenile Justice, the IJJO e-learning platform, which is still taking applications for a late-February start.
Led by the IJJO and with strong links to its regional think tank the European Council for Juvenile Justice (ECJJ) - with 10 ECJJ members partnered – the objective of the project “Improving juvenile justice systems in Europe: Training for professionals” is to improve juvenile justice systems in Europe and to understand where they can be made more efficient and child-friendly. It intends to put the voice of the child at the heart of juvenile justice systems by providing information, knowledge and training to juvenile justice national authorities and staff working with children.
Regarding this objective, the project is conceived to support the implementation of the new Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings (2016/800/EU), as well as the Guidelines of the Council of Europe on child-friendly justice, and other international and European standards on the matter. The project is based on the recommendations made in the ECJJ white paper on ‘Improving Youth Justice Systems during a Time of Economic Crisis’ (2013).
The main publications of the project, the Manual and the Toolkit, work together as a training package under the common name ‘Can anyone hear me?’. The Manual is available in 11 different European languages (English, Spanish, French, Czech, Finnish, German, Greek, Italian, Latvian, Portuguese and Polish). It has the purpose of providing training to professionals working with children in conflict with the law, with an emphasis towards improving their communication skills with children.
The Toolkit, available in English and Portuguese, acts as a practical guide for the trainer in shaping and executing the training programme. On the basis of these two publications, several seminars have taken place across all partners’ states, gathering juvenile justice stakeholders to discuss, train and learn on the topics proposed by the project.
The videos, which complement the training package, feature young people talking about their experiences related to three different themes stated on their titles: ‘Young people’s experience of the formal youth justice system’, ‘Community-based restorative justice’, and ‘A young care leaver’s experience of the police’.
Finally, the online course, which will begin on the 20th of February on the IJJO’s e-learning platform, the International School of Juvenile Justice, provides questions to stimulate further thinking in relation to issues raised by the Manual. The course covers in its various modules topics such as children’s legal rights, interviewing techniques, communication skills, child psychology, among others. The course programme is available here. Applications for this course should be sent with a CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the project and materials please visit http://www.oijj.org/en/improvingjjs-introduction