The ECJJ White Paper

Every EU Member State suffers from the crises at various extent; besides, the crises hit Europeans alike and no one, not even children, are spared. Despite the situation, we need to ensure the rights of children in conflict with the law are upheld. Financial cut-backs may mean money is tight, but this should not necessarily lead to a halt in progress. In these times of austerity and social discord, it is even imperative to continue improving children’s rights and youth justice practice across Europe. In this White Paper, the International Juvenile Justice Observatory on behalf of the European think tank on Juvenile Justice, the European Council on Juvenile Justice (ECJJ), is outlining how the current economic and social setbacks in Europe have affected youth justice policy and practice. From this, a range of solutions are presented, which promote a child-rights approach to youth justice. Entitled "Save Money, protect society and realise youth potential - Improving youth justice systems during a time of economic crisis", the White Paper highlights how a child-rights approach is consistent with international and national standards of best practice, ensuring that the children of all countries are empowered rather than criminalised, and that rather than costing more money than traditional punitive approaches, educative and community-based measures actually cost less. The IJJO’s goal is to emphasise that times of economic and social difficulty are key opportunities to innovate and improve outcomes for children. Drafted by Ms. Marianne Moore, the ECJJ White Paper also rely on the inputs provided by the members of the European Council for Juvenile Justice as well as on the opinions of young European citizens, who have been or are in contact with the law. The purpose of this publication is to help policy-makers and civil society stakeholders to clearly identify drivers that will provide a more efficient justice system. As such, the full potential of young people in each country can be fulfilled.