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The Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on child-friendly justice, were adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 17 November 2010.  For more information on the preparation of these Guidelines, please click here.

At its 88th Plenary meeting (16-18 December 2013), the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) decided to consider means of how it might contribute to promoting and supporting the implementation of the Guidelines (for example encouraging members to host meetings, training,  developing practical projects to implement the Guidelines and fund raising for co-operation projects).

General Orientations on how CDCJ is and will undertake promoting and supporting the implementation of the Guidelines were developed in 2014.

An informal network of national experts has been set up.

In accordance with its terms of reference, the CDCJ will provide member States and other relevant bodies upon request, legislative advice, training and awareness-raising on the integration of a child-friendly perspective into the administration of justice into their legislation (see below).

Today, the Guidelines are considered as one of the key references on how the justice system can better respect the child as a rights holder and how to ensure children’s access to justice. They are a very concrete tool that our governments are constantly encouraged to base their law reform and furthered practice on. The advantage of the Guidelines is that they are practical and contain examples of good practice which is helpful for countries undertaking law reform and for the professionals that have to apply them.

The Guidelines are referred to by the European Court of Human Rights in several cases. See recent judgments (English only).


The Council of Europe is undertaking, in collaboration with the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS), a regional activity on child evidence within the framework of a child-friendly justice system.

In the framework of this activity, as a first step, a comparative study on the recent initiatives and best practices within the region has just been completed by an expert in the field.

The results of this study will be presented at a regional conference to be organised in Tallinn on 19 and 20 February 2015 (see below).

It is expected to undertake an analysis on the feasibility of developing best  practices identified at the Tallinn Conference in the States of the region wishing to introduce them into their national legal system and requesting Council of Europe assistance in this respect. The results of the feasibility analysis, where appropriate, could be presented at an event organised to provide the information necessary for the implementation of appropriate practices in the requesting State.

- Concept note of the regional activity (English only)

Conference on handling child evidence within the framework of a child-friendly justice system (Tallinn, Estonia, 19-20 February 2015)

The conference is being organised in co-operation with the Ministries of Justice and Social Affairs of Estonia and in collaboration with the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) as a supporting partner. 

This event will give participants an opportunity to better understand how good practices on handling, protecting or testing children’s evidence have been set up in the Baltic Sea Region, how they work, and the critical factors that have enabled their success.

Participants are encouraged to reflect during the discussion on how those good practices that are presented might be integrated into their own legal systems.

Participants may also wish to provide information on other practices, giving details of how they have been set up, how they work and their critical success factors.

- Programme of the Conference (English only)