SRSG opens three-day International Expert Consultation on Restorative Justice for Children, in Bali

Bali (Indonesia) 26 June 2013 -  Hosted by the Government of Indonesia in collaboration with the Government of Norway and the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children, the Expert Consultation includes the participation of governmental officials, experts from international and regional organizations, representatives from human rights and children’s rights independent institutions, as well as from academia and civil society.

The meeting is devoted to child sensitive restorative justice, an approach to criminal offending which involves the victim, the child offender, his or her parents or guardians, social networks, justice agencies, social workers and the community. Restorative justice programmes for children aim, through a flexible, non-adversarial and voluntary process, to rehabilitate and reintegrate the child offender, to help reconnect the child with the community and ensure that the child acknowledges accountability for criminal behaviour; to repair harm and prevent the recurrence of violence affecting children. These programmes are required to give the necessary support that the victim and the child offender may need. 

The Expert Consultation examined available models of restorative justice for children and will draw attention to positive developments and promising practices, as well as shortcomings in the use of restorative justice processes, within formal and informal justice systems. 

The Consultation builds upon the joint thematic report developed by the SRSG in cooperation with UNODC and OHCHR on Prevention of and Responses to Violence against Children within the Juvenile Justice System which urged States to develop and use, in the light of international standards including article 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, effective alternative mechanisms to formal criminal proceedings that are child- and gender-sensitive, such as diversion, restorative justice processes, mediation, and community-based programmes, including treatment programmes for children with substance abuse problems. 

Based on the Bali consultation, a thematic Report will be developed with concrete recommendations for the development of restorative justice programs that safeguard the rights of the child and form part of a violence prevention strategy.  

UNODC Handbook on Restorative justice programmes

ECOSOC Resolution : Basic principles on the use of restorative justice programmes in criminal matters