Statistics are crucial
Failure to record and strategically make use of juvenile justice related information contributes to a failure to ensure the protection of children in conflict with the law
Child justice statistics are very important for planning as well as monitoring activities. Data collection contributes to a better understanding of the issue of children in the criminal justice system and helps measure progress.
In its General Comment no 10 on Children’s rights in juvenile justice (2007), the Committee on the Rights of the Child is deeply concerned about the lack of data relevant to the administration of juvenile justice, and necessary for the development, implementation and evaluation of policies and programmes aiming at the prevention and effective responses to juvenile delinquency in full accordance with the provisions of the Convention.
Indeed, juvenile justice reform is severely hampered by the lack of objective, systematic and accurate statistics on juvenile crime. When information is not available on children who are in contact with the justice system, abuse and violence might occur and the experience of the child is unlikely to be in his or her best interests.
Juvenile Justice Indicators
Bearing this in mind, UNICEF and UNODC developed a set of fifteen indicators of core importance to juvenile justice, in consultation with NGOs and individual experts. The fifteen juvenile justice indicators provide a framework for measuring and presenting specific information about the situation of children in conflict with the law; they have been refined through field-testing in a number of countries and are endorsed by the Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice.
A Manual for the Measurement of juvenile justice indicators was published to explain how to use the indicators in practice.