If we do not achieve justice for children, and if we are unable to involve them meaningfully in this process, then we will fail in our ambition of achieving justice for all by 2030.
Justice for Children, Justice for All offers a new starting point to place children at the heart of an emerging global movement for justice.
Children are thirty percent of the world’s population. In many countries, over half of the population is under the age of eighteen. Yet, children are largely invisible. The Task Force’s Justice for Children, Justice for All working group found that while the global agenda pledges to leave no one behind “there is a stark gap when it comes to measuring, understanding, and fulfilling this global ambition for children”.
Building on the work of Pathfinders’ Task Force on Justice, the Justice for Children, Justice for All initiative is an international, multi-agency initiative with a strategic vision that actively puts children at the centre, affirms children’s human rights, and is aligned with the SDG agenda. It forms an essential part of our collective global challenge to achieve SDG 16.
The Call to Action outlines responses to ten challenges
The Justice for Children, Justice for All published a widely endorsed Call to Action, which is drawn from a background Challenge Paper.
They highlight the necessary, collective and global Responses to Ten Challenges across three themes, which are essential if children are to not only benefit from, but indeed be at the heart of, the emerging global movement for justice:
Promote justice as an enabler of children’s development by delivering equal access and support to all children who require the services of justice systems, preventing unnecessary contact with the justice system including via informal alternative approaches, and ensuring the right to legal identity for all children.
Accelerate action through implementation channels that prevent all forms of violence against children, safeguard the rights of children used by armed or other criminal groups, and restrict the deprivation of children’s liberty to exceptional circumstances.
Establish and sustain the foundations for change by adopting a multi-sectoral approach to child protection, promoting the participation of children in decisions that affect their lives, securing sustained political commitment to high quality justice for children, and ensuring responses are based on international standards and evidence-based policies.
The plan to deliver
This Justice for Children, Justice for All initiative is led by CELCIS Inspiring Children’s Futures at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Violence Against Children & the Child Justice Advocacy Group, coordinated by Terre des hommes and Defence for Children International.
A Technical Working Group of global experts has richly informed this work (see: Challenge Paper acknowledgements) and a growing number of organisations have offered their endorsements of the Call to Action.
Title photo: ©Tdh/JoakimLoeb