The issues of children in conflict with the law, child victims and witnesses of crime have become an increasing concern for most of the countries of the Asia and Pacific region. Significant reform initiatives are underway in many countries to give response to several issues concerning: violence against children, child trafficking and protection of the rights of the children in conflict with the law. In some countries there is a lack of specific juvenile justice systems to guaranty the right of children between the ages of 16-18.
In order to assist countries in the region in the development of the reform initiatives underway, the IJJO establishes the Asia- Pacific Council for Juvenile Justice to formulate recommendations on the development of juvenile justice in Asia; to gather quantitative and qualitative information on the situation of children, adolescents and young people in conflict with the law.
The Asia-Pacific Council brings together representatives of competent public administrations in juvenile justice, universities or academic centres and NGOs with expertise in legislation, implementation, supervision, research or intervention in the field of juvenile justice.
In particular the Asia-Pacific Council for Juvenile Justice assumes the following functions:
- Promotion of a sustainable collaboration and coordination among all parties and stakeholders in the development of juvenile justice policies for social integration of young people and children in conflict with the law.
- Development of strategies to ensure the respect for the rights of children and adolescents in conflict with the law and to promote crime prevention policies toward regional institutions, based on existing initiatives and programs.
The first time the Asia- Pacific Council met was in Thailand, under the auspices of the Thailand’s Ministry of Justice. The aim of this meeting was to contribute to improve the treatment of the children in all circumstances, entering in contact with the justice and to support Asian States in protecting children’s rights at all stages of procedures.