UNICEF: Children in contact with the law: introduction of child-friendly procedures in Kyrgyzstan

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PRESS-RELEASE

Children in contact with the law: introduction of child-friendly procedures in Kyrgyzstan

Karakol’s City Department of Internal Affairs and the City Court open child-friendly facilities 

Karakol, Kyrgyzstan, 5 December 2017 – Today the City Department of Internal Affairs and the City Court in Karakol opened child-friendly facilities for children in contact with the law implementing the State Programme on Justice for Children (2014-2018). Member of the Parliament Irina Karamushkina, British Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Robin Ord-Smith, UNICEF Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Yukie Mokuo, and Deputy Governor of the Issyk-Kul province Elmira Usenova opened child-friendly courtrooms and waiting rooms designed to provide a friendly environment to child victims, witnesses and children in conflict with the law.

Welcoming the participants, Member of the Parliament Irina Karamushkina emphasized that the development of effective justice system for children was a priority for the Parliament and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. This model was piloted in the city of Bishkek. Following the decision of the Juvenile Justice Coordination Council, the same model is being replicated in additional two regions Karakol and Suzak district to assess the potential and risks of scaling it up nationwide.

Modelling of effective justice for children is envisaged by the State Programme on Justice for Children (2014-2018) in the Kyrgyz Republic. It includes the development of child-friendly procedures, namely specialization of judges, lawyers, and police officers who deal with children’s cases, and specific provisions to protect children in contact with the law, children who are victims and witnesses of crimes. According to the international standards of child protection, it is required to apply restorative justice approaches and child-friendly procedures, at the same time ensuring that children who are victims and witnesses of crimes have access to justice taking into account their best interests. Children going through administrative and civil procedures receive fair access to justice through legal advice and free legal aid.

“It is necessary to observe the international standards for creation of child-friendly procedures in law-enforcement agencies and courts,” - emphasized UNICEF Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Yukie Mokuo. «All procedures, investigations, interrogations and court hearings should be child-friendly and serve the best interests of every child,” -   she added.

At the opening ceremony, British Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Robin Ord-Smith said: “When children in conflict with the law are provided with fair access to justice without discrimination, fear or favour, this increases trust in the government and state and support for both. A truly democratic country guarantees equality before the law and I believe that this project makes an important contribution to the democratic progress of the Kyrgyz Republic.”

Child-friendly facilities and procedures have been introduced by the national authorities jointly with UNICEF and funded by the UK Government in the framework of the programme on increasing resilience of youth for peaceful and inclusive communities.

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About UNICEF: UNICEF works for every child. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. UNICEF opened its office in Kyrgyzstan in 1994. For more information about UNICEF and its work with children, please visit our https://www.unicef.org/kyrgyzstan and sign up for our pages in FacebookInstagram and Twitter

For additional information, please contact:

Tynymgul Eshieva, UNICEF Bishkek, tel: +996 777 919 143, teshieva@unicef.org