Violence in juvenile justice systems impact on children s health and development
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Violence in juvenile justice systems – impact on children’s health and development. Dainius Puras Vilnius university, Lithuania. Basic principles. Child rights approach. CRC and other UN treaties Public health approach. WHO report on Violence and Health (2002)

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Violence in juvenile justice systems – impact on children’s health and development

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Violence in juvenile justice systems impact on children s health and development

Violence in juvenile justice systems – impact on children’s health and development

Dainius Puras

Vilnius university, Lithuania


Basic principles

Basic principles

  • Child rights approach. CRC and other UN treaties

  • Public health approach. WHO report on Violence and Health (2002)

  • Involvement of all stakeholders; developing incentives and motivation of stakeholders and their cooperation

  • Good governance and management.

  • Independent evaluation and monitoring.

  • There are many possibilities to break a vicious cycle of violence.


Children in jj system a high risk group for health and development concerns

Children in JJ system – a high risk group for health and development concerns

  • Physical injuries

  • Tuberculosis

  • Dental needs

  • Sexually transmitted diseases

  • HIV and other problems related to reproductive health

  • Problems of mental health and emotional well-being


Modern developments in mental health care

Modern developments in mental health care

  • Modern mental health care is in line with human rights and child rights principles. CRC General Comments N.10, 13. WHO recommendations for development of child mental health policy and services

  • Therapeutic environment is a basic precondition for effective interventions with children and adolescent with MH problems

  • Prevention of suicidal, violent and other (self)-destructive behavior is possible if evidence-based methods are applied in sustainable way


Treatment vs punishment

Treatment vs. Punishment

  • Therapeutic and educational measures, such as behavior modification techniques, may include sanctions and disciplinary measures.

  • The main criteria is whether the measure applied is “consistent with upholding the inherent dignity of the juvenile” (GC N.10)

  • Application of disciplinary measures in violation of art.37 of CRC is detrimental for health and development of children in conflict with the law

  • Training of staff in basic skills of how to apply non-violent therapeutic and educational measures, including “disciplinary measures” is of crucial importance


Crc general comment n 10

CRC General comment N.10

„If the key actors in juvenile justice, such as police officers, prosecutors, judges and probation officers, do not fully respect and protect these guarantees (guarantees for fair trial and for treatment that is consistent with the child‘s sense of dignity), howcan they expect that with such poor examples the child will respect the human rights and fundamental freedom of others?“


Principles of assistance to child victims

Principles of assistance to child victims

  • Rehabilitation and recovery should follow basic human rights, child rights and public health principles

  • It is crucial to have in place all safeguards to avoid secondary stigmatization and measures violating rights of child victims

  • Assistance to be provided in environment which fosters health, development, self-respect and dignity of the child

  • Training of members of multidisciplinary team will help to avoid mistakes in identification of victims and in assisting in their recovery and rehabilitation

  • Modern psychosocial interventions aim to empower clients and to invest in their autonomy and participation as citizens who control their own lives in a healthy way


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