European Researches and Projects

At a European level, the International Juvenile Justice Observatory is involved in several European researches and projects. As of April 2013, the European Council for Juvenile Justice is therefore likely to be consulted regarding the following issues:

Keeping Youth Away from Crime - Searching for Best European Practices

July 2013 - July 2015

The main value of the Project is the priority protection of children's rights in all cases when a child has already entered or is at risk of entering the Justice system and criminal contacts. In order to achieve the objectives, the Project activities are divided into 4 work streams: 1. European field study, researchers from 5 European countries gather the examples of innovative methods, tools and practices in their countries to share the experience among the specialists from Europe; the study includes 2 steps: the analysis of rights and practice in European countries (UK, Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and the result analysis from the pilot projects activities; 2. Implementation of best practices and tools (specialists develop networks during the Project to strengthen the understanding of each good practice, tool or method from the European field study and decide on implementing them in the pilot places); 3. Three pilot projects implement the good practice, tools, methods identified by the researchers for the work with children. 4. Public education campaign (publications of research in English an Project booklet in Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian; presentations of the booklets; final conference on the Project results (Brussels, 100 participants); educational film on the course of the Project activities which will be available for public and educational use thus ensuring the sustainability of Project results).


  • Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS (Latvia) (Applicant)
  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (Belgium)
  • Ministry of Justice (Estonia)
  • International Child Development Initiatives (NL)
  • Children Support Centre (Lithuania)
  • University of Edinburgh (UK)
  • State Inspectorate for Protection of Children`s Rights (Latvia)
  • Saldus County Council (Latvia)
  • Cēsu County Council (Latvia)
  • Madona County Council (Latvia).

Children's Legal Education - Adapted Resources (CLEAR)

January 2013 - December 2014

Managed by Save the Children Romania, one of the members of the European Council for Juvenile Justice, the Children’s Legal Education – Adapted Resources (aka CLEAR project) aims at developing and ensuring the effectiveness of a child-friendly Manual educating children about their rights and of an affiliated Tool Guide designed for professional practitioners such as teachers, educators, social and / or community workers, etc.

At first, the Manual and the Tool Guide will be developed in collaboration by the seven different partners involved in CLEAR; both will be reviewed several times thanks to e.g. the support of focus groups, online consultations, the involvement of Children’s Rights experts and children themselves. These two processes, the draft and review of the Manual and Tool Guide, will take approximately a year and a half whereas the last part of this project, the dissemination of the outputs, will be spread over the last six months that is to say at the end of 2014.

Giving its extensive network of collaborators, the International Juvenile Justice Observatory hopes to bring a European-wide perspective to this project and to actively contribute to its dissemination. As a matter of fact, the IJJO will first make sure that inspiring practices other than those developed and implemented within the six other European country partners will be taken into account before largely contributing to the dissemination at a EU-level of the Manual, of the Tool Guide, and of the different findings highlighted throughout the length of the project.


  • Save the Children Romania (Romania)  Applicant
  • Cooperativa Sociale San Saturino (Italy)
  • Save the children Spain (Spain)
  • Plantijn University College (Belgium)
  • Anglia Ruskin University (United Kingdom)
  • Cooperativa Sociale San saturino (ONLUS) (Italy)
  • Instituto de Desenvolvimento Social (Portugal)
  • The International Juvenile Justice Observatory (Belgium)

Alternatives to Custody for Young Offenders - developing intensive and remand fostering programmes

January 2013 - December 2014

Led by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, this ambitious European project aims at promoting fostering programmes as an alternative to detention for children waiting for their trial or sentence as well as for those found guilty of offences sufficiently serious to warrant custody. As a matter of fact, fostering is one of the many alternatives to custody quoted by Article 40 of the UNCRC; yet, its use remains exeptional throughout Europe.

Project members aims at first drafting an overview of inspiring fostring practices implemented within the European Union before developing a comprehensive step-by-step multi-agency framework for an Intensive and Remand Fostering Programme. The protocol of intervention will include a training programme and briefing documents designed to be effective tools for multi-agency networks, in particular foster carers,  fostering and youth justice staff, criminal justice and police personnel , with proposed core minimum standards, guidelines, practical tools procedures and information designed for young people.

Contributing to the European desk analysis of fostering programmes throughout Europe and thus bringing a widespread European perspective to this project, the IJJO hopes to take this particular collaboration as an opportunity to foster aternatives to custody in all their diversity, notably before national and European decision-makers via advocacy campaigns, lobbying and other media stunts.


  • British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF)   - Applicant
  • Eurochild (Belgium)
  • A National Voice (United Kingdom)
  • Family Child Youth Association (Hungary)
  • National Network for Children (Bulgaria)
  • Social Activities and Practices Institute – SAPI (Bulgaria)
  • University of Salento – Department of Law (Italy)
  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (Belgium)
  • Kensington and Chelsea (United Kingdom) – Associate partner
  • Budapest Child Protection Agency (Hungary) – Associate partner
  • Sofia Municipality (Bulgaria) – Associate partner

Needs Tackling and Networks Tracing for Unaccompanied Foreign Minors Integration (Net for U)

May 2012 - October 2013

The situation faced by unaccompanied minors throughout Europe is a growing concern for a great number of NGOs working with and for children. In this precise case, the Net for U project aims at improving the integration of unaccompanied foreign minors. To this extent, the diverse partners involved in this project are determined to define an effective multidimensional intervention Program.

The latter relies on the achievement of several objectives, which are the following: the elaboration of a knowledge-based intervention model to improve helpful practices both of ongoing special assessment and of family tracing procedures; the development and fostering of appropriate opportunities of training and education, of social and leisure activities, and of an active participation in cultural life for the children concerned; the creation of a permanent transnational cooperation within professionals, stakeholders, social workers and all other figures who work and are dedicated to the rights and well-being of unaccompanied foreign minors.

These objectives will concretely take the form of several outputs such as a Toolkit detailing the special procedures linked to assessment and family tracing; an Intervention Manual to help professionals create individualized programmes for the concerned minors; and Guidelines, which will act as the founding document of a permanent network (NET FORUm) fostering a cooperative strategy between organisations and stakeholders working at a local, national and international level.


  • Istituto don Calabria (Italy)   -  Applicant
  • Istituto Psicoanalitico per le Ricerche Sociali (Italy)
  • The Smile of the Child Association (Greece)
  • Christian Association of Youth Villages (Germany)
  • Pupil Parent Partnership (United Kingdom)
  • Fundacion Diagrama Intervention Psicosocial (Spain)
  • Association Diagrama Intervention Psychosociale (France)
  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (Belgium)
  • Cooperation: Synergia (Italy)

Social Communication and Foreign Minors in the Juvenile Justice System in Europe (COSMI)

October 2012 - June 2013

CO.S.Mi is an eight-month project funded by the Italian Department of Juvenile Justice that explores the impact of prejudice and discrimination on foreign minors, especially in relation to stereotypes linking them with crime, followed by an assessment of how social communication techniques are and can be used to increase awareness and reduce the level of prejudice and discrimination directed towards foreign minors. The focus on this topic is in part a response to repeated calls by the European Union for Member States to adopt policies that support the integration of immigrants and in  part a recognition of the particularly difficult situation in which foreign minors find themselves. Evidence indicates that the current social context in many EU Member States tends to be increasingly intolerant of immigrants; within this context foreigners are frequently equated with crime and foreign minors may be particularly vulnerable to stereotypes, prejudice and various forms of discrimination both within the broader community and within the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Social communication is seen as potentially powerful instrument for addressing and preventing prejudice and discrimination. This applies not only to altering media depictions of foreign minors (or foreigners in general) in relation to criminality, but also working on changing the attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs of individuals. At the same time, social communication can be applied within the juvenile justice system to prevent and reduce discriminatory behaviour and actions, whether individual or structural, to help guarantee equal treatment and the safeguarding of the best interests of the child for all minors that come into contact with the juvenile justice system.


  • Special Therapeutic Detention Facilities of Greek Ministry of Justice (Greece)
  • Regional Department for Juvenile Justice (Estonia)
  • Office for Penal Measures Execution (Spain)
  • Pupil Parent Partnership in contact with Youth Justice Board of England and Wales (United Kingdom)
  • Christian Association of Youth Villages (Germany)
  • International Observatory for Juvenile Justice (Belgium)


The CLEAR project is implemented with financial support from the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union.

For more information about CLEAR, visit the website of the project :