Below is a list of the recommendations given by our expert panelists, advocates, educators and law-makers during their webinar presentations. You can get involved and contribute to positive change in juvenile justice systems globally by downloading or copying these recommendations and sending them to your local leaders, decision makers and change agents.
Be sure to include a personal note about why this issue is important to you!
- Implement the United Nations rules for the treatment of female prisoners and non-custodial measures for female offenders in order to create a gender responsive justice system that includes the presence of female officers and staff trained in gender responsive approaches, gender-based policies, and regulation mechanisms
- As per Article 37b of the CRC, only detain juveniles as a last resort, reduce the number of girls held in places of detention, apply non-custodial solutions/alternatives to detention, and transition to community-focused solutions
- When detention is unavoidable, ensure it is for the shortest appropriate period and in conditions that are child-friendly and gender-sensitive (for example, separate facilities for girls, guarantees of the highest attainable health standard, removal of cash bail for children)
- Provide adequate, ongoing, and robust mental health support for juveniles in detention and adopt survivor-centered, rather than trauma-centered, approaches that encourage increased agency
- Institute rehabilitation programs, improved treatment options, and reintegration programs for juveniles in detention to ensure a smooth transition out of detention
- Ensure children in remand are always separated from adults, have safe spaces with well-trained teachers, receive a formal education including relevant vocational skills, critical thinking, rehabilitative training, and life skills
- Support and address the root socio-economic causes that lead to juvenile offending through funding and support for social services and community-based organizations, including adequate funding for programs that address food insecurity and the root causes of family instability
- Repeal all laws criminalizing girl-specific and “immoral” behavior of gendered societal norms and decriminalize children in victimizing situations- e.g., trafficked children or victims of sexual abuse
- Address long-standing research gaps rooted in discriminatory thinking by funding and supporting research on girl’s lives, including a special focus on Indigenous girls and girls of color, and systematically collect disaggregated data in order to better understand the pathways leading children to detention
- Provide adequate and ongoing support for community‐based organizations that work with at-risk girls on vocational training and mentorship to help prevent them from entering the justice system