Switzerland and the Terre des hommes Foundation organize jointly the World Congress on Juvenile Justice at the International Conference Center of Geneva - CICG from 26th to 30th of January 2015.

Why a World Congress on Juvenile Justice ?

Despite progress achieved over the last decades, the improvement of the juvenile justice system remains a critical element for the respect of the best interest of children in conflict with the law as well as the interest of the society as a whole. This need is present regardless of the economic status of a country. Despite the vast diversity of judicial systems, the similar challenges arise such as detention conditions for children in conflict with the law, the respect of their rights, the efficiency of non-custodial measures, the advantages of restorative juvenile justice, the reform of the juridical system and the effective prevention of youth offending.

What are the objectives of the Congress ?

Legal instruments, norms and international standards exist. The Congress aims at promoting the implementation of these norms and standards through the exchange of experiences, innovations and best practices. The Congress will invite State actors and civil society to take actions for improved cooperation between the relevant stakeholders in each country, as well as for regional and international cooperation.

Who are the participants ?

  • Governments are invited to present achievements in juvenile justice (legislative, pilot project, innovations, lessons learned, etc.), to share challenges, to discuss implementation of measures as well as articulate needs and/or proposals for regional and international cooperation.
  • Juvenile justice professionals (judges, magistrates, prosecutors, academics, penitentiary administration, social institutions and services, police, lawyers, etc.) are invited to expose their lessons learnt and their proposals.
  • International organisations, United Nations Agencies, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders in the field of Juvenile justice, in order to strengthen their coordination capacities.

How is the Congress organized ?

The Congress is held in three official languages (French, English and Spanish) and consists of presentations, round tables and numerous workshops on specific topics regarding first children in conflict with the law, but also children victims and witnesses. Active participation is encouraged to ensure that the Congress is an opportunity for participants to share lessons, to discover current innovative practices and to develop networks.

Official Website of the Congress.

docxArticle of Bernard Boëton (in French) in Le Temps, 23 January 2015