Building resilient child justice systems in times of crises and pandemics

Times of crises and pandemics tend to disproportionately impact the most marginalised populations, including children and youth. Disruptions to society have a significant impact on children’s safety and well-being, as they affect the environment in which children grow and develop. COVID-19 has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of child protection and child justice systems, especially exposing children deprived of liberty to further victimisation. Such conditions exacerbate existing discrimination and jeopardise children’s rights.[i]

The crisis has emphasised the need for measures to empower children as actors in justice systems and safeguard their health, safety, and rights at all times. A multi-sectoral response is required to ensure that children’s needs are addressed comprehensively by all levels of society to result in a better outcome for children in times of crises. Strengthening justice for and with children is an investment that will be key to the recovery phase as we build back better from the pandemic.[ii]



[i] UN, Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on children, April 15, 2020, p. 2, available online: (last visited May 12, 2021).
[ii] Najat Maalla M’jid, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, National Preparatory Meeting on Justice With Children, Pakistan, January 14, 2021.


Disclaimer: Authors are the Global Initiative on Justice with Children with pro-bono support from Baker McKenzie. This section represents one among other positions of some members of the World Congress Consortium and does not necessarily represent the view of all institutions and members  involved.