The project ‘Listen to the child – Justice befriends the child’, held its final conference in Sofia on the 26 and 27 of April, entitled "Integrated Approach for Fair Justice". The two-year project’s main workstreams have focused on creating a bond between institutions united around child protection, as well as implementing effective integrated approaches in the interest of child victims in four EU Member States (Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and France). The project is coordinated by the Social Activities and Practices Institute (SAPI, Bulgaria) - member of the ECJJ - and supported by the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Union.
With the aim of improving the situation of child victims or witnesses of crime in legal proceedings the partners of the project, including the IJJO, have joined efforts and expertise to identify validated practices, reinforce them, and compile a list of recommendations, working in compliance with the Directive 2012/29/EU, which establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.
During the final conference, the project's results that were presented emphasised the importance of protected places for child victims, multidisciplinary actions and assessments, and innovative practices. Partners and experts introduced, in front of an international audience, validated practices and improvements resulting from the project’s activities in relation with the implementation of the Directive’s requirements. European recommendations and the views of young people on different initiatives were also presented by partners of the project, in the context of a 'Declaration for a Child Friendly Justice'.
The International Juvenile Justice Observatory, represented by Sophie Duroy, presented its research on the theme of Restorative Justice with children, which is considered to be the next step in the implementation of the Directive. This Restorative Juvenile Justice research has been carried out in the context of the IJJO’s European Council of Juvenile Justice.