United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Belarus conducted a regional discussion dedicated to restorative justice for children and adolescents in conflict with the law as part of The Future We Want discussion platform launched to commemorate the UN’s 75th Anniversary.
Over 80 high school and university students and educators of Baranovichi State University, Polessie State University (Pinsk), schools of Baranovichi, Pinsk, Stolin, Beloozersk, Drogichin, and others took part in the discussion.
Senior coordinator for child protection at the UNICEF Office in Belarus Dmitry Shilin told the participants about psychological and legal aspects of restorative justice. UNICEF expert Andro Gigauri - one of the authors of Georgia’s justice reform - took part in the online session.
UNICEF treats the development of restorative justice for the minors as high priority. Sponsored by the British Embassy in Belarus the efforts are being made to improve the national legislation and develop social services for children in conflict with the law. Baranovichi social and pedagogical centre hosts the counselling centre, which provides psychological and legal assistance to the minors.
At the next stage of work with the youth regarding restorative justice the focus groups will be established to test mobile apps for teenagers aimed at raising legal awareness with a focus on conflict with the law.
Beside that UNICEF continually invites students of high schools, institutions of higher education and specialised secondary educational establishments to submit essays (2 pages maximum) dedicated to restorative justice for the minors. The following topics are offered:
Importance of restorative justice
Voices of the young (personal or somebody else’s experience)
Legal education (how to make the law accessible to children)
Components of restorative justice (mediation, probation, distraction)
Informatization and the law (how to integrate the law into information technology and get the message across to children)
Stigmatization of children in conflict with the law
Victim and Offender: the importance of finding a common language