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Complementarities and synergies between juvenile justice and social services sector. The proceedings of the ChildONEurope Seminar on Juvenile Justice (Florence, Istituto degli Innocenti, 19 April 2012)

Number of pages79
PublisherFlorence : ChildONEurope
  • ChildONEurope Series; 6
Publication date2013

This publication contains the collection of papers related to the European Seminar on ‘Complementarities and synergies between juvenile justice and social services sector' of the European Network of National Observatories on Childhood (ChildONEurope) held in Florence, Istituto degli Innocenti, on 19 April 2012. Throughout a decision of the ChildONEurope Assembly of 24th of February 2012, the ChildONEurope Secretariat convened a European seminar on the issues pertaining to the synergic collaboration between juvenile justice and the social services dedicated to children ended in conflict with the law. Its main aim was to stimulate a wide-ranging discussion on the different criticalities and implications of juvenile justice more sensitive to the child needs and rights. The timing of this Seminar was particularly appropriate. The so-called ‘third period' of the history of juvenile justice law, which may be said to date back to the end of the 20th century, is the one characterised by the transformation of institutions (1960-1990) and the drafting of major international documents (Beijing, Riyad and Havana). This period is very rich, it is marked, in turn, by the emphasis on the model of protection, its critical analysis, a tendency towards moving away from the judiciary and having recourse to extra-judiciary solutions. Whereas, some scholars define the period starting from 1990 onwards as the ‘implementation period' of these international standards. But several questions on criticalities remain not answered. Therefore, the implementation cannot be so smoothly operated simply on the basis of their formulation in the international standards. Several are the issues at stake, but one is obtaining and increasing attention: how to include and to enhance the social services action in the child best interest. Today's research shows that juvenile justice requires a specific, supple and flexible law that can call upon a range of responses based on aid and education. The development of probation and parole also can be estimated as success in some national experiences. The recidivism and revocation rates have decreased through the use of more constructive and rehabilitative community sanctions. The prevailing new trend on the international scene is to search for alternatives to the deprivation of liberty. Focusing on the reality coming from the European experiences, mainly referring to the context of the European Union, the Seminar represents an attempt to place children at the centre of the debate, focussing attention on the main problems facing the implementation of a juvenile justice national frameworks in line with the International standards and on the role that social services should play in order to reach the final aim of setting up a restorative and reintegrative juvenile justice system. The plenary debate started with the contribution of Renate Winter, Justice Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) who provided a critical overview over the fulfilment of children's rights in the juvenile justice framework and the crucial role of social services for child care and reintegration. The European dimension of the debate was introduced throughout two contributions. The first was an analysis of the European Union Agenda of action on the EU Strategy and aimed at verifying the possible synergies of work with the social services in this specific context. It was provided by Margaret Tuite, EU Commission-Coordinator for the Rights of the Child DG Justice, Fundamental Rights and rights of the child. The second contribution, based on the presentation of the Council of Europe Guidelines on child-friendly justice and on social services friendly to children and families, was carried out by Gioia Scappucci, Council of Europe, Children's Rights Division. The plenary section was concluded with the contribution of Cédric Foussard, Director of the International Juvenile Justice Observatory who delivered a critical introduction of the national dimension through the presentation of a comparative European analysis of national experiences on practices of reintegration. The proceedings reproduced in this publication include as well the outcomes of the three working groups minded to further develop the discussion of three specific issues, namely: (1) the promotion of 7 alternative to detention in Europe; (2) the participation of social services in the youth court and their potential for the prevention of re-offending; (3) unaccompanied migrant children in conflict with the law. Each one of the working groups was opened with the introductive speech of experts coming from academia and international civil society. The expert involved in the working groups' discussion was: Frieder Dünkel, University of Greifswald, Germany, with the coordination of Isabella Mastropasqua, Director of the Study, Research and International Activities Bureau, European Study Center of Nisida, Italy, Stephanie Rap, Researcher, Utrecht University, Netherlands, with the coordination of Benoît Parmentier, Director, Birth and Childhood's Office (ONE), Brussels, Belgium, and Damien Nantes, Director of the Association Hors la Rue, France, with the coordination of Marie-Paule Martin Blachais, Chairperson ChildONEurope Assembly.

  • Juvenile Justice
  • Children's rights
  • Social Service
  • Child Protection
Citation (ISO format)
RUGGIERO, Roberta, (ed.). Complementarities and synergies between juvenile justice and social services sector. The proceedings of the ChildONEurope Seminar on Juvenile Justice (Florence, Istituto degli Innocenti, 19 April 2012). Florence : ChildONEurope, 2013. (ChildONEurope Series)
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Proceedings (Published version)
  • PID : unige:158506

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