On March 8th, the European Parliament held a debate on 'Procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings'. Julie took the floor to speak about the importance of prevention and re-integration of children that have gone through the criminal justice system.
The field of juvenile justice must be integrated into the broader framework of children's rights seen as Human Rights, also encompassing issues related to children's poverty, their access to care and services, parenting and family, formal, non-formal and informal education, education to citizenship and their participation in societies.
Julie focused in her speech on the role of education, volunteering, sport and cultural participation for re-integration of children, and emphasised the key role of community support.
"I welcome the report drafted by my colleague Caterina, with whom I co-founded the children's rights intergroup here in the Parliament. I know how, as a former Prosecutor in a juvenile court, this issue is close to her heart.
It's key to ensure that every citizen who is suspected of a crime is able to understand and follow the criminal proceedings, and to exercise its right to a fair trial;
Any citizen must have their rights upheld in the course of the criminal process, but children are particularly vulnerable and we must look out for their specific situation. I am happy to see that the report reaffirms that the child's best interests must always be a primary consideration.
As a member of the Culture and Education committee, I also want to underline the role of prevention as well as social re-integration of children suspected or convicted of criminal offences.
In this respect, more consideration must be given to the power of informal learning, volunteering, sports and cultural participation for social inclusion and re-integration of children and young people that have gone through the criminal justice system. This applies especially to disadvantaged young people who may have failed in the compulsory education system and face social and economic exclusion. Community support is key to the issue of reintegration of minors."
Find highlights of the whole discussion on the website of this organisation who had been live Twitter blogging about the debate: