Throughout Europe, many children, as suspects or accused, are involved in criminal proceedings. Adopting a child-friendly justice system is a prerequisite to respecting their rights. But in many countries, concerns have been raised regarding the access to and the assistance of a lawyer for children in criminal proceedings (including the lack of information received by those children to the lack of trained (youth) lawyers, absence of latitude in the choice of their lawyer and lack of clarity in the procedures).
My Lawyers My Rights, co-funded by the EU and led by DCI Belgium, works towards the proper implementation and effective monitoring of relevant EU directives, including Directive 2016/800/EU on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings.
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Child Circle’s role in the project is concerned in particular with raising awareness of policymakers and lawyers on the obligation to undertake a multi-disciplinary individual assessment of each child’s situation and to take this assessment into consideration throughout the proceedings, including procedural matters and sentencing.
Other partners in this project are:
• Belgium – Defence for Children International (DCI) – coordinator
• ITALY – Defence for Children International (DCI)
• POLAND – Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
• IRELAND- Child Law Clinic (UCC)
• THE NETHERLANDS- Defence for Children International (DCI)
• BULGARIA- Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
• BELGIUM – Child Circle
• DLA Piper – European Law firm
• European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA) – association of independent specialist defence lawyers