Providing justice for children
Since enacting a child protection law in 2005, Turkey has made considerable progress in strengthening the juvenile justice system, bringing it into greater compliance with international standards. Following the implementation of an EU-funded project, Children First: Modelling Child Protection Mechanisms at Provincial Level, further needs were identified by all institutions involved in the child-protection system in Turkey, such as in the services provided in juvenile detention centres and the proper assessment of children in the justice process.
The aims of the project and its core activities
The objective of this project is to guarantee the rights of children who come into contact with the law through ensuring their right to fair trial. It also aimed to ensure that all professionals working in the juvenile justice system have a common understanding of child rights.
As a first step, training programmes will be conducted at central and provincial level to step up coordination between relevant institutions in criminal cases involving children. In addition, protective and supportive measures for minors who come in contact with the law will be developed. A field visit will also be conducted to a EU country to learn of best practices in running prosecutor offices specialised in dealing with minors.
Legal procedures for the child victims of violence will be simplified to prevent secondary victimisation, by taking testimony only once, using closed circuit video conferencing and setting up special interview rooms in heavy penal court centres.
Moreover, a conditional release and control mechanism will be developed in order to ensure that depriving a child of his or her liberty be a last resort.