The Global Initiative on Justice with Children aims to address the most current issues related to children in contact and conflict with the law. It supports the operational implementation of international laws and standards in order to strengthen child justice worldwide.

With our advocacy activities we aim to:

– Gather policy makers, academics and civil society representatives, with relevant work and influence in Justice for Children, to identify key areas of interest,
– Foster thematic priorities and defining trends related to Justice for Children,
– Formulating action-oriented recommendations

Here is the non-exhaustive list of topics we are currently working on:


This Challenge Paper looks at the discrimination and barriers experienced at the intersection of:
❶ Age
❷ Sexual orientation and/or gender identity and/or sexual characteristics
❸ Contact with justice systems

Children who, for whatever reason and in whatever capacity, are brought into contact with competent bodies and services involved in implementing criminal or administrative law, and are subjected to discrimination because they identify themselves as LGBTI+ or because they are perceived as LGBTI+, regardless of their own self-identification.

This Challenge Paper is for policy makers and professionals working with children who are involved in criminal and administrative proceedings as suspects, accused or convicted of a crime, victims of a crime, witnesses, and third parties.

It offers some actionable recommendations for policy makers to inform child-centred and LGBTI+ sensitive provisions and guidelines, and for professionals to improve their understanding of LGBTI+ children needs and barriers to fair justice systems and to learn how individual and systemic change is needed to make things better for these children


Everywhere in the world, children are victims of different types of violence as a result of several converging crises: climate, economic, geopolitical and, more recently, a global health emergency. These crises increase children’s vulnerability, as well as the systems initially designed to support them. This includes justice systems, which have to adapt to continue to provide services for children in adverse circumstances, preventing and responding to severe forms of violence perpetrated against them within the justice system itself. This complex situation could, however, offer a new opportunity to rethink juvenile justice systems in order to increase their resilience to different types of crises, as well as to ensure evidence-based reforms that respect children’s rights. With such profound changes in social contexts, it is important to track the evolution of juvenile justice systems, anticipate what is coming, and lead the way to a better future for children in contact or in conflict with the law.


Children and young people come into contact with the police for a variety of reasons such as when they commit offences, witness crimes or as victims of crimes. This paper aims to highlight the challenges that arise during and following police contact with children. Children’s developing emotional and psychological maturity makes them vulnerable to risks of exploitation during such police contact and possibly within the justice system. This paper considers the relationship between the police and children, on a global basis and analyses the international frameworks that govern this relationship. The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore common themes and promising practices in relation to child-friendly policing. This policy brief, results from a working group formed during the 2018 World Congress on Justice with Children. It is supported by the Global Initiative on Justice with Children, authored by Terres des hommes with pro-bono support from Baker McKenzie and endorsed by members of the Child Justice Advocacy group.


Children in criminal justice systems are more likely to suffer from neuro-disabilities. Specialists insist that if they receive the support they need early on, then they will be less likely to come into conflict with the law.
We work to ensure that the rights of children in conflict with the law are upheld by protecting victims of violence, supporting alternatives to detention and ensuring adequate support for rehabilitation and reintegration.


The Global Initiative on Justice with Children is attending the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will be held from 7 – 12 March 2021 in Kyoto, Japan under the overall theme “Advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law: towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda”. The UN ‘Crime Congress’, held once every five years since 1955, adopts a political declaration that sets the crime prevention and criminal justice agenda for the next five years. It is therefore of key relevance to PRI’s mission. Read more about our advocacy activities during this event here.


The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global emergency that poses profound social, economic, and political challenges for all countries and across all sectors. In the justice sector, places where children are deprived of liberty in potentially crowded and unsanitary conditions were immediately flagged as high-risk settings where the virus could spread easily, with potentially disastrous results for detainees. Rapid actions have been taken to encourage authorities to accelerate the release of children from custodial settings as a means of protecting them from the virus.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic presents extreme risks both to children who are detained and to the institutions responsible for ensuring their safety and well-being.


An estimated 4640 children travelled to Iraq or Syria, either alone or with their families, to join the so-called Islamic State. Since the fall of the terrorist group, many of them live in displacement camps under deplorable conditions. They have not only been victims of recruitment or trafficking, but also witnessed extreme violence and indoctrination. We call on State authorities for an urgent response to guarantee their rights. Regardless of their role, of whether they had been recruited or their parents were involved with ISIL, these children have rights set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We call on all authorities to accept their international responsibility for their citizens by repatriating them, especially children. States must facilitate their rehabilitation and recovery. They must ensure that children are not separated from their parents unless it’s in their best interest and that they are never criminalised purely for their association or membership of a terrorist group.