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.
IDLO has partnered with UNICEF to study the factors which support or inhibit children’s equitable access to justice in post-communist societies. The nine-month research project in Albania, Montenegro, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan will conclude in 2014. It will provide greater insight into local realities, concerns and approaches, and make culturally appropriate, sustainable and effective recommendations for policy and programming.