On December 1 and 2, the partners in the CLEAR-Rights project gathered for a final conference to review the accomplishments of the project. The partners, Terre des hommes Regional Office in Hungary in partnership with PILnet (Hungary), L’Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme (AADH), Terre des hommes (Romania), Defence for Children (The Netherlands), and Defence for Children International (Belgium) worked to reinforce legal aid systems and pro bono legal assistance for children in collaboration with European networks, and disseminate the learnings, results and promising practices derived from this work. The event was hosted by ACTEDO.
PILnet and AADH presented the newly created Pro Bono Children Europe, a European Child Justice Clearinghouse, which is currently operated as a working group of the European Pro Bono Alliance. This mechanism facilitates access to free quality legal assistance for NGOs working with children and their clients, including those working across borders, providing help with EU-wide legal research, operational legal needs, representation, legal drafting, legal translation, and more.
Additionally, PILnet and the CLEAR-Rights project partners presented the studies, reports and guides they created under this project:
- Review: European review of practices and gaps in legal aid systems for children (available in English and Hungarian)
- An overview of the accessibility and quality offered by the systems of legal aid for children in conflict with the law in Belgium, France, Hungary, Romania and the Netherlands
- Study: Practices & Gaps in the Legal Aid System for Children in Hungary
- A study to identify challenges in accessing legal aid for children in conflict with the law and suggest effective remedies to ensure an equal access to free of charge legal assistance for all children in Hungary
- Guide: Quality Standards and Step-by-Step Guide of legal assistance for children (available in English, French, and Hungarian)
- A listing of core principles and a step-by-step guide with precise instructions for lawyers to follow on how to provide legal assistance to children
- Training Guides: Training For Lawyers Who Work With Children Suspected Or Accused Of An Offense (more materials here)
- The comprehensive training to build the capacity of lawyers to carry out their work with children in the best possible way.
- Fact Sheets: CHILD-Lex Database on child friendly justice
- A compilation of relevant jurisprudence for professionals working with children about the rights of children in contact with the justice system
Based on the above European review of practices and gaps in legal aid systems for children, the CLEAR Rights partners also drafted the Recommended Minimum Accreditation Criteria for lawyers defending children (available in English, French, Hungarian, and Romanian), which recommends for review and, if necessary, for improvement the criteria that a lawyer should comply with for accreditation to provide legal assistance to children in conflict with the law. This aims to contribute to this process of review and improvement, and contains a set of recommendations about what the minimum accreditation criteria should be in the key areas of education, certification or license, values, work experience, and continuous training.
Please support our effort to implement these criteria by signing an open letter of support. Signatories also include the CLEAR-Rights partners, Child Friendly Justice European Network, Equality and Human Rights Action Centre (ACTEDO), and numerous lawyers.
Learn more about PILnet’s work with children’s rights