IPJJ - Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice

IPJJ founding members

The Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice (IPJJ) was created by 13 United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations actively involved in juvenile justice. Together, IPJJ members are present in over 180 countries.


Committee on the Rights of the Child

The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties. It also monitors implementation of two optional protocols to the Convention, on involvement of children in armed conflict and on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially two years after acceding to the Convention and then every five years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of "concluding observations." The Committee also publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, known as "general comments" on thematic issues and organises "days of general discussion" to foster a deeper understanding of the Convention. In 2007, the Committee adopted a General Comment on "Children's rights in juvenile justice" that provides guidance and recommendations to State parties on the content of a comprehensive juvenile justice policy.

Child Rights International Network (CRIN)

The Child Rights International Network (CRIN) is a non-governmental organisation that disseminates information and carries out advocacy activities on children's rights. They envision a world in which every child enjoys all of the human rights promised by the United Nations, regional organisations, and national governments alike. They press for rights, not charity, and advocate for a genuine systemic shift in how governments and societies view children. With regards to juvenile justice, CRIN launched a campaign calling for the prohibition and elimination of inhuman sentencing of children defined to include sentences of death, life imprisonment and corporal punishment. They have recently started a debate on the minimum age of criminal responsibility to move beyond the mere idea of setting a minimum age and stop making children criminals.
Click here to know more about CRIN's activities on child justice.

Defence for Children International

Defence for Children International (DCI) is an independent non-governmental organisation that has been promoting and protecting children's rights since its establishment in 1979. DCI is represented in over 43 countries worldwide through its national sections and associated members, each working on child rights issues that are relevant to their national contexts including child labour, street children, violence against children, children and armed conflicts and child participation. DCI's work is rooted strongly in the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. For many years, DCI, on both a global level and through its national sections, has been operating in the field of juvenile justice, responding to problems with advocacy, research and lobby actions, as well as direct intervention in some cases. In several countries, DCI has set up socio-legal defence centres staffed by lawyers, social workers, psychologists, and children's rights activists who work together on behalf of children and their families in need of protection. In July 2005, DCI launched the No Kids Behind Bars! global campaign which aims to reduce the number of children in detention by promoting the development of national action plans on juvenile justice by State Parties. With close support from the Committee on the Rights of the Child, DCI also implemented follow-up action to General Comment No.10 on children's right in juvenile justice. DCI monitored and promoted the use of this document in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Click here to know more about DCI's activities on child justice.

United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations

The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is dedicated to assisting the Member States and the Secretary-General in their efforts to maintain international peace and security. The Department's mission is to plan, prepare, manage and direct UN peacekeeping operations, so that they can effectively fulfil their mandates under the overall authority of the Security Council and General Assembly, and under the command vested in the Secretary-General. The Department works to integrate the efforts of UN, governmental and non-governmental entities in the context of peacekeeping operations. DPKO also provides guidance and support on military, police, mine action, and logistical and administrative issues to other UN political and peacebuilding missions.
Click here to know more about how UN Peacekeeping is protecting children.

International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates

The International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (IAYFJM) is a non-governmental organisation with consultative status at the United Nations and the Council of Europe. It has members in 82 countries, including national associations and individuals (judges, magistrates and professionals concerned with youth and family justice and welfare). Its main objectives are to: establish links between judges, magistrates and specialists from all over the world; study the problems raised by judicial authorities and organisations for the protection of youth and the family; examine legislation designed for the protection of youth and the family; encourage research into the causes of criminal behaviour and the maladjustment of youth, prevention and rehabilitation programmes; promote awareness and implementation of children’s rights; encourage collaboration between States and competent authorities with regard to migrant children and their families; and collaborate with international associations concerned with the protection of youth and the family. IAYFJM organises a world congress every four years and publishes a Chronicle in English, French and Spanish twice a year. 

International Juvenile Justice Observatory

The International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO) is an international organisation recognised as a Belgian Foundation of public interest (2003) that promotes a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to issues related to juvenile justice -the prevention of juvenile crime, intervention and educational measures and socio-professional inclusion-. The IJJO provides a permanent forum for sharing information and analysis on topics related to juvenile crime, justice and children’s rights. As a network of juvenile justice experts and observers, the IJJO has a benchmarking function, establishes good-practice criteria and disseminates information on efficient strategies related to policies and interventions. It also helps to generate research and offers technical assistance to those working in the field. The IJJO disseminates information in English, French and Spanish through its online resources, and engages in awareness-raising with the general public and in advocacy activities to build support for the protection of young offenders’ rights. Every two years, the IJJO organises an International Conference and on this occasion it awards the “Juvenile Justice without Borders" International Award as a recognition of the work carried out by institutions, experts and personalities in the defence of children's rights. With the aim of becoming closer to national realities and needs, the IJJO has set up the Councils for Juvenile Justice in every world region, as an advisory body composed by public administration, academia/universities and NGOs representatives. Besides, the IJJO is in consultative status with ECOSOC.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the department of the UN Secretariat mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realisation, by all people, of all rights established in the UN Charter and in international human rights laws and treaties. The mandate includes preventing human rights violations, securing respect for all human rights, promoting international cooperation to protect human rights, coordinating related activities throughout the UN, and strengthening and streamlining the UN system in the field of human rights. In addition to its mandated responsibilities, the Office leads efforts to integrate a human rights approach within all work carried out by UN agencies.
Click here to know more about OHCHR's activities on children.

World Organisation Against Torture

With 297 affiliated organisations in its SOS-Torture Network, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) is the main coalition of NGOs fighting against torture, summary executions, enforced disappearances and all other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The OMCT provides personalised assistance to torture victims and ensures the daily dissemination of urgent appeals across the world, in order to protect individuals and to fight against impunity. Specific programmes allow it to provide support to specific categories of vulnerable people, such as women, human rights defenders and children. OMCT's Child Rights activities aim to protect children against torture and other forms of ill-treatment, as well as to defend their rights through prevention, denunciation, reparation and advocacy. OMCT is concern that many child victims of ill-treatment are deprived of liberty in the justice context. Therefore, for several years, together with NGO field partners, the OMCT monitors the treatment of children deprived of liberty.
Click here to know more about OMCT's activities on child justice.

Penal Reform International

Penal Reform International (PRI) is an international NGO working on penal and criminal justice reform worldwide. PRI's work places considerable emphasis on juvenile justice reform and ensuring that the treatment of children in conflict with the law complies with international human rights standards. This involves diverting children from the adult criminal justice system, promoting alternative sanctions to imprisonment and, where imprisonment is used, improving conditions of detention. In the Middle East and North Africa region, PRI is implementing a juvenile justice programme in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Yemen, with a particular focus on restorative justice approaches. In Armenia, PRI is working to raise awareness about children’s rights, promote reform and pilot rehabilitation services for juveniles. Their partnership with UNICEF includes provision of training and capacity-building for child justice professionals in Macedonia and the development and delivery of training sessions for members of Tanzania’s Commission on Human Rights and Good Governance on independent monitoring mechanisms for places where children are deprived of their liberty, as well as on how to develop advocacy strategies for promoting the recommendations of their independent monitoring work.
Click here to know more about PRI's activities on child justice.

Terre des hommes - child relief

Terre des hommes Foundation - child relief (Tdh) was founded in 1960 by Edmond Kaiser. Since its creation, the mission of Terre des hommes has been to contribute to the implementation of the rights of the child, in times of war or natural catastrophe, or in less publicised situations of distress. Over the last fifty years, Terre des hommes has specialised in three areas of expertise: health, social care and protection, and advocacy on the rights of the child. In the area of protection, Terre des hommes provides legal support to minors in conflict with the law, organises training for those involved in the justice system (judges, lawyers, police officers, youth and social workers, etc.), and works among political and judicial authorities by campaigning on justice for children, against all forms of arbitrary and exploitation, also in the context of migrations, and in general for the application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Click here to know more about Terre des hommes' activities on children in conflict with the law.

United Nations Development Programme

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. UNDP's network links and coordinates global and national efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals. UNDP also commissions the annual Human Development Report. The justice sector programme of UNDP is concerned with the independence, impartiality and fairness of judges, legal literacy, legal aid, pro-poor laws and civic participation in legal and judicial reform.
Click here to know more about UNDP's activities on Access to Justice and Rule of Law.

United Nations Children's Fund

UNICEF's mission to protect the rights of all children is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Within this mandate, one of UNICEF's priorities is the protection of children against violence, exploitation and abuse, with a special focus to the most vulnerable including children deprived of parental care, in conflict with the law and in armed conflicts. In the area of Justice for Children, UNICEF works together with UN agencies and other partners in ensuring that justice systems provide greater protection to children as victims, witnesses and offenders. This includes strengthening national justice systems, influencing public attitudes and integrating justice for children's issues within broader initiatives such as rule of law or poverty reduction. In terms of juvenile justice specifically, UNICEF focuses on reducing recourse to deprivation of liberty, through the promotion of non-custodial measures, restorative justice and diversion.
Click here to know more about UNICEF's work on justice for children.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) carries out activities in international crime prevention and control by strengthening regional and international cooperation to prevent and combat transnational crime. The Office also promotes crime prevention strategies and the fair and effective administration of justice, with due respect for the rights of all those affected by crime or involved in the criminal justice system. In particular, the Criminal Justice Reform Unit (CJRU) assists states in building the capacity of their justice systems to operate more effectively within the framework of the rule of law and in accordance with international standards and norms. CJRU focuses particular attention upon special or vulnerable populations such as women and children. CJRU serves developing and post-conflict countries, as well as countries in transition.
Click here to know more about UNODC's activities on criminal justice reform and juvenile justice.