“Ensuring Access to Justice for all Children: Towards Non-discriminatory and Inclusive Child Justice Systems”

“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 other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.”
Article 2, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child


Children in contact with justice systems may be in need of care and protection, may be as victims, witnesses or perpetrators, and are amongst the most vulnerable to having their rights violated: they may face deprivation of liberty that harms their physical and psychological well-being; they may be denied the right to legal representation and fair judicial proceedings; they may experience stigma from their communities that prevents their reintegration and healing, and they might suffer discrimination from the justice systems themselves and throughout the process.

Many children across the globe face multiple forms of discrimination in diverse settings because of their ethnic and/or religious origin, their social status, gender, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, migrant status, or for being victims of trafficking, to name a few. Social exclusion and the lack of access to services and resources are among the effects of discrimination.

In order to challenge this complex situation, the 2021 World Congress is geared towards promoting children’s rights and exchanging practice-oriented strategies to promote equality of treatment between all children and to reduce discrimination towards access to fair justice systems. It will look for the identification of promising practices from all over the world to prevent juvenile crime and propose effective responses to recidivism by supporting rehabilitation and reintegration and propose effective responses to recidivism by supporting inclusive rehabilitation and reintegration programmes.


Hosted by the Federal Supreme court of Mexico, the 2021 World Congress on Justice with Children will welcome high level academics, policy makers, judges and magistrates, and civil society representatives. Experts will participate in plenary sessions, simultaneous workshop and will deliver master class, training or policy-oriented talks which will be available on the online platform as well.

The 2021 World Congress will focus mainly but not exclusively on:

–   Systemic racism and the disproportionate criminalization of children from indigenous, ethnic and other minority groups in justice systems across the globe
– Discrimination due to gender, sexual and gender identity, a gender justice focus.
– Discrimination experienced by children and young people affected by migration, including refugees, unaccompanied foreign children and children of foreign parents
– Discrimination due to disability, health conditions
– Discrimination due to the substance use and abuse
– Criminalization of children’s online behaviour
– Age limits and status offenses
– Ensuring that the voice of the child is heard in child justice systems
– Fulfilling children’s rights in contexts of legal pluralism
– Building resilient child justice systems in times of crises and pandemic
– Tackling violence within child justice systems and ensuring child friendly approaches for child victims, offenders and witnesses.

Apply to Host a Session here.