UN Model Strategies on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

A/RES/69/194
18/12/2014

United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The General Assembly,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and all other relevant international and regional treaties, 

Recalling also the numerous international standards and norms in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, in particular on juvenile justice, such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles deprived of their Liberty, the Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System, the Guidelines on Justice in Matters involving Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime, the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules), the updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Guidelines for the Prevention of Crime, the United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems, the guidelines for cooperation and technical assistance in the field of urban crime prevention, the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, the Guidelines for the Effective Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials,

Recalling further relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council, as well as the Commission on Human Rights, 

Convinced that violence against children is never justifiable and that it is the duty of States to protect children, including those in conflict with the law, from all forms of violence and human rights violations, and to exercise due diligence to prohibit, prevent and investigate acts of violence against children, eliminate impunity and provide assistance to the victims, including prevention of revictimization,

Acknowledging the value of the joint report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children on prevention of and responses to violence against children within the juvenile justice system, the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on access to justice for children and the joint report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children on accessible and child-sensitive counselling, complaint and reporting mechanisms to address incidents of violence,

Noting with appreciation the important work on child rights in the context of crime prevention and criminal justice conducted by United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Children’s Fund, and by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children and relevant mandate holders and treaty bodies, and welcoming the active participation of civil society in this field of work, 

Emphasizing that children, by reason of their physical and mental development, face particular vulnerabilities and need special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, 

Emphasizing also that children in contact with the justice system as victims, witnesses, or alleged or recognized offenders, must be treated in a child-sensitive manner and with respect for their rights, dignity and needs,

Stressing that the right for all to have access to justice and the provision that child victims or witnesses of violence and children and juveniles in conflict with the law are entitled to the same legal guarantees and protection as are accorded to adults, including all fair trial guarantees, form an important basis for strengthening the rule of law through the administration of justice, 

Recognizing the complementary roles of crime prevention, the criminal justice system, child protection agencies and the health, education and social sectors, as well as civil society, in creating a protective environment and preventing and responding to incidents of violence against children,

Being aware of the different economic, social and cultural contexts of crime prevention and criminal justice prevailing in each Member State, 

Recalling its resolution 68/189 of 18 December 2013, in which the Assembly requested the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to convene a meeting of an open-ended intergovernmental expert group, in collaboration with all relevant United Nations entities, in particular the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, to develop a draft set of model strategies and practical measures on the elimination of violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, to be considered by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its session following the meeting of the open-ended intergovernmental expert group,

1. Strongly condemns all acts of violence against children, and reaffirms the duty of the State to protect children from all forms of violence in both public and private settings, and calls for the elimination of impunity, including by investigating and prosecuting with due process and punishing all perpetrators;

2. Expresses its extreme concern about the secondary victimization of children that may occur within the justice system, and reaffirms the responsibility of States to protect children from this form of violence;

3. Welcomes the work done at the meeting of the expert group on the development of draft model strategies and practical measures on the elimination of violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, held in Bangkok from 18 to 21 February 2014, and takes note with appreciation of its report;

4. Adopts the United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, annexed to the present resolution;

5. Urges Member States to take all necessary and effective measures, as appropriate, to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children who come in contact with the justice system as victims, witnesses, or alleged or recognized offenders, and to provide for consistency in their laws and policies and in the application thereof in order to promote the implementation of the United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice;

6. Also urges Member States to remove any barrier, including any kind of discrimination, that children may face in accessing justice and in effectively participating in criminal proceedings, to pay particular attention to the issue of the rights of the child and the child’s best interests in the administration of justice, and
to ensure that children in contact with the criminal justice system are treated in a child-sensitive manner, taking into account the specific needs of those children who are in particularly vulnerable situations;

7. Encourages Member States that have not yet integrated crime prevention and children’s issues into their overall rule of law efforts to do so, and to develop and implement a comprehensive crime prevention and justice system policy with a view to preventing the involvement of children in criminal activities, promoting the use of alternative measures to detention, such as diversion and restorative justice, adopting reintegration strategies for former child offenders and complying with the principle that deprivation of liberty of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, as well as to avoid, wherever possible, the use of pretrial detention for children;

8. Encourages Member States, where appropriate, to strengthen multisectoral coordination among all relevant government agencies in order to better prevent, identify and respond to the multidimensional nature of violence against children and to ensure that criminal justice and other relevant professionals
are adequately trained to deal with children;

9. Also encourages Member States to establish and strengthen child rights monitoring and accountability systems, as well as mechanisms for the systematic research, collection and analysis of data on violence against children and on the systems designed to address violence against children, with a view to assessing the scope and incidence of such violence and the impact of policies and measures adopted to reduce it;

10. Stresses the importance of preventing incidents of violence against children and of responding in a timely manner to support child victims of violence, including to prevent their revictimization, and invites Member States to adopt knowledge-based, comprehensive and multisectoral prevention strategies and
policies to address the factors that give rise to violence against children and that expose them to the risk of violence;

11. Requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to take steps to ensure the broad dissemination of the Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice;

12. Also requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, at the request of Member States, to identify the needs and capacities of countries and to provide technical assistance and advisory services to Member States in order to develop or strengthen, as appropriate, legislation, procedures, policies and practices to prevent and respond to violence against children and to ensure respect for the rights of the child in the administration of justice; 

13. Further requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to closely coordinate with the institutes of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme and with other relevant national and regional institutes with a view to developing training materials and offering training and other capacity-building opportunities, in particular for practitioners working in the areas of crime prevention and criminal justice and for providers of support services for the victims of violence against children and for child witnesses within the criminal justice system, and to disseminate information on successful practices;

14. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Human Rights Council, as well as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Office of the United Nations High  Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and relevant regional and international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to strengthen cooperation in supporting the efforts of States to eliminate all forms of violence against children; 

15. Encourages Member States to promote country-to-country, regional and interregional technical cooperation in sharing best practices in the implementation of the United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; 

16. Invites Member States and other donors to provide extrabudgetary contributions for such purposes, in accordance with the rules and procedures of the United Nations.