The European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) welcomes the adoption on the 24th of March 2021 by the European Commission of its first comprehensive EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2021 – 2024) that provides a framework for EU action to better promote and protect children’s rights in Europe and abroad. The Strategy proposes a series of targeted actions across six thematic areas, each one defining the priorities for EU action in the coming years. The launch of the Strategy included the publication of a child friendly versions (short and long).
In the last year the EFRJ has been advocating with the European Commission for the inclusion of restorative justice in the Strategy. In particular, the EFRJ together with Terre des Hommes (TdH) submitted a joint position paper to the European Commission to support the implementation of a restorative child-friendly justice and of the prevention of violence in school settings. The EFRJ further collaborated with Terres des Hommes and other partners working in the field of the rights of the child on a second policy paper, co-created with children, on the broader yet targeted area of child justice.
We welcome particularly that under the thematic area “Child- friendly justice” the European Commission invites the Member States to:
“develop robust alternatives to judicial action: from alternatives to detention, to the use of restorative justice and mediation in the context of civil justice”.
We hope that this will support further developments in policy, legislation and practice in the Member States to achieve a further step towards a restorative child-friendly justice.
The EFRJ will support the work of the Commission in the meaningful implementation of the strategy and will continue to advocate for a broader inclusion of restorative justice and restorative approaches in the field of the rights of the child.
photo by Zurijeta