|Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF representative in Việt Nam, gives a speech at the Family and Juvenile Court launching ceremony in Đồng Tháp Province. — Photo Courtesy of UNICEF|
ĐỒNG THÁP — Đồng Tháp southern province on Friday established its Family and Juvenile Court, making it the second province in Việt Nam to have a specialised court for children.
The Family and Juvenile Court aims to provide better support and protection for children in need of legal aid. The event was chaired by Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, Nguyễn Hòa Bình.
“Việt Nam’s establishment of the Family and Juvenile Court was a major milestone for children’s rights in Việt Nam. Today’s launch of the Đồng Tháp Family and Juvenile Court reflects Việt Nam’s continued commitment to uphold children’s rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF representative in Việt Nam.
The establishment of the Family and Juvenile Court is part of wider child justice reforms introduced under the Law on Handling of Administrative Violations, Penal Code, Penal Procedure Code and Law on Children.
The reforms allow children, families and qualified professionals to participate more fully in judicial proceedings through the application of child-friendly and gender-sensitive procedures and trained specialised judges, who will be able to tailor decisions to the needs of an individual child based on his or her best interests.
“The establishment of the Family and Juvenile Court is not merely about rearranging the structure of the People’s court system; rather, this institution allows specialisation in the handling of family and children’s cases to increase the effectiveness and quality of judgement and shorten the time of adjudication of these cases in the People’s Courts,” Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, Lê Hồng Quang, said.
Đồng Tháp is one of the provinces in Việt Nam with high rates of child abuse and juvenile offences. UNICEF has been supporting the province to build capacity on child friendly investigation since 2006. More than 70 police investigators and frontline investigators were trained on child-friendly and gender-sensitive investigation and interview skills.
Đồng Tháp is also one of the first provinces to establish child-friendly police interview rooms at both the provincial and district levels.
“Đồng Tháp deserves applause for building a local child protection system and promoting child-friendly justice and community-based support for juveniles in conflict with the law. I encourage Đồng Tháp to maintain this momentum and be a role model for all provinces,” Abdel-Jelil said.
In the lead up to the launch of the court, UNICEF has provided training to Family and Juvenile judges on children’s rights and justice for children. The training equips 62 judges with an understanding of children’s rights, child and adolescent development and basic skills on child-friendly and gender-sensitive procedures.
The first Family and Juvenile Court was launched in HCM City in 2016. It is expected that court will be rolled out across all provinces of Việt Nam. — VNS