Why a World Congress on Justice With Children?

The World Congress on Justice With Children is an international milestone that gathers children alongside policymakers, legal practitioners, academics, and civil society representatives with relevant work experience to influence Child Justice, explore best practices, foster scientific cooperation, and raise awareness on child-friendly justice.

Over one week, we aim to place children’s rights at the top of the international agenda to promote fair and appropriate justice systems for and with children.

Our expectations

  • Define a global strategy to accelerate progress towards child-friendly justice with and for children until the next congress.
  • Foster regional synergies and action plans for the next three years to provide regional roadmaps for implementing the global strategy.
  • Collect national pledges to reinforce policies and practices that make real differences in the lives of children in contact with the law.
  • Generate a path for action after the plenary sessions and workshops based on the discussion and topics raised.

Luis Pedernera

Immediate Former Chair of the
Committee on the Rights of the Child

"The World Congress on Justice With Children gives an opportunity to exchange on new global trends on child justice. There are two elements that will surely be of relevance for the World Congress: the challenges posed by the General Comment No. 24 on children’s rights in the child justice system and by the ongoing pandemic which has deepened children’s rights issues, especially those concerning access to justice and deprivation of liberty. The Congress will certainly be an insightful platform which will provide food for thought in responding to the challenges arising from the current situation."

Why ensure Access to Justice for All Children?

Many children across the globe face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination resulting in their social exclusion and lack of access to services and resources, which violates their fundamental rights

Children in contact with justice systems – as victims, witnesses or perpetrators – need special care and protection as they may experience discrimination from the justice system itself.

These children are amongst those who are most vulnerable to having their rights violated.

"State Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or another opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status."

Article 2
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Preparatory meeting


The World Congress is a culmination of many years of preparations, including 13 regional and national preparatory meetings that took place to inform the priority themes and structure of the World Congress. The Compendium Report of these meetings, as well as the individual summary reports for each meeting are available here.

Special Thanks

The 2021 World Congress is organised by the Global Initiative on Justice With Children, which is a consortium of:

Penal Reform
des droit
Mexican Supreme Court
Baker McKenzie
EP LogoCouncil of europe