IDLO’s Judit Arenas* has highlighted the rule-of-law aspects of securing justice for children in the developing world. Speaking at an EU-UNICEFconference in Brussels, she described children as highly vulnerable.
Children's access to justice is both a right in itself and a means to restore rights that have been disregarded or violated. It also enables the realization of human rights as laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Without effective access to justice, children remain vulnerable to abuses from family, society and the state. They are less likely to receive education, health care and social protection. Conflict, exploitation, disasters natural or man-made, and the frequent opacity of institutions to children's concerns take an enormous toll.
IDLO's vision is one where justice systems serve and protect children, through specialized and responsive personnel and legal instruments, from birth through adulthood.
Funded by the Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia, the “Child Protection Enhancement Project” (CPEP) builds on the results of its first phase of COVID-19 response programming addressing child access to justice in Mongolia. CPEP works to enhance the child protection system and support Mongolian children by building the technical and professional skills of Legal Committees for Child Rights (LCCRs) through mentorship and advanced training.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it have had severe and long-lasting impacts on Mongolia. Though prevention and containment measures have successfully prevented a large-scale health crisis, extended lockdowns have negatively affected children’s access to education, psychological and physical wellbeing and reduced the capacity of the Mongolian justice system to respond to crimes against children.
With a view to replacing a culture of violence in Honduras with one of legality, IDLO has outlined a program to reduce violent acts and homicides through better access to justice. Work, carried out in partnership with national institutions and civil society organizations, will focus specifically on vulnerable groups, including women, children, youth and people in detention. The program is financed by the US Department of State.