Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has partnered with international children’s rights organisation Terre des hommes, to create a resource which aims to accelerate the release of children from detention around the world, during COVID-19. The web page, which includes a policy and practice brief, as well as operational guidelines, aims to provide urgent guidance to those working in youth justice.
The resources provided summarise international legal instruments and regional mechanisms that are relevant to evaluating the circumstances of children in these settings, and present a set of policy recommendations, illustrated by practical examples of rapid response actions to realise children’s fundamental rights.
This advocacy project is part of a wider new initiative launched by Terre des hommes, justicewithchildren.org, which aims to:
- Make children’s rights effective worldwide;
- Promote access to justice and participation of children in formal, and informal justice systems;
- Improve the connection between justice for children and child protection systems;
- Assess the use of deprivation of liberty and promoting non-custodial measures worldwide;
- Exchange practice-oriented strategies to reduce and prevent juvenile crime and proposing effective responses to recidivism.
The advocacy and voices pages, joint products of Terre des hommes and Baker McKenzie, bring recommendations for policy makers through a policy and practice brief, and give technical advices for professionals thanks to operational guidelines for security forces, legal professionals and the social workforce.
Speaking after the website launch, Angela Vigil, North America Director of Pro Bono at Baker McKenzie, said, “We are so proud to partner with Terre des hommes on such a worthy project. We need to protect children from COVID, and accelerating the release of those currently in detention is a vital step in doing so.”
Cedric Foussard, Advocacy and Global Learning at Terre des hommes and Global Initiative on Justice with Children coordinator, points out the potential of this partnership: “It combines the expertise and experience from both organisations to achieve a common goal: to protect/defend the rights of children in contact with the law and to encourage their participation.”