Workshop seeks way to improve justice for minors

Wednesday, 2019-06-12 11:27:17
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At the working session
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NDO - A workshop on “Experience Sharing in Handling Cases under the Jurisdiction of Family and Juvenile Courts” was held in Hanoi on June 11.

Held jointly by the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam, UNICEF and the European Union (EU), the event aimed to draw on international good practices and promising initiatives to improve the situation of children who come in contact with the justice system.

Speaking at the workshop, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court Nguyen Hoa Binh expressed the importance of learning from international experience on adjudication of cases involving minors and voiced appreciation for the value of UNICEF in bringing such knowledge and experience to the Court system.

The Chief Justice also highly appreciated international lessons and good practices in handling child sexual abuse cases, especially the practice of closed trials, prohibition of cross-examination of minors by the defendant, and utilising alternative methods for a minor to give evidence (such as video recording of their statement).

The creation and current national roll-out of the Family and Juvenile Court to 38 provinces since 2016 is a major milestone for children’s rights. The Family and Juvenile Court is a vital component in the prevention and response to sexual violence against minors. UNICEF encourages the continued roll-out to the remaining provinces.

Under the Penal Code the group of criminal offences relating to sexual abuse of minors has generated significant attention from the National Assembly. The Supreme People’s Court has expressed its commitment to work closely with UNICEF to help the Court system in Vietnam play its role in contributing to ending sexual violence against minors, including the development of a Judicial Council Resolution on handling child sexual abuse matters.

In addition, with key support from the EU, UNICEF has supported the Vietnamese Government to strengthen minors’ access to justice in line with Vietnam’s international children’s rights obligations, with special attention to the unique needs of minor girls and boys, and vulnerable groups of minors. The international organization contributed to the piloting and national scale up of the Family and Juvenile Court and will continue to support with activities such as the international sharing of good practices and the training of judges and court officers nationwide.