Reforming criminal justice codes and practicesImage © UNICEF

Creating a child friendly justice system

Uzbekistan is at the geographic centre of Central Asia and a key commercial hub for the region. There are currently no specially trained judges or separate courts for minors, and the country is just beginning to establish a formal social welfare system.

As part of a wider program of reforms, the Uzbek Government is working with UNICEF to meet the country’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Having initiated a dialogue with the Government to strengthen child protection within the justice system, UNICEF approached DLA Piper for technical legal expertise to increase capacities of criminal and civil court judges to consider cases involving child rights.

Impact

The DLA Piper team reviewed the draft amendments to criminal procedural legislation (drafted by the Working Group) and provided feedback including recommendations to the Uzbek codes and regulations. The aim of this is to introduce practical and achievable measures focused on the best interests of the child.

The team also developed an outline of a training course to serve as a manual for training for trainers and judges to improve their competencies in the application of child-friendly justice and Child Protection. The work also includes a one-day workshop with legal professionals on child rights principles.  Our goal is to diminish the risk of secondary victimisation and protect the fundamental rights of children in contact with the law.

You can watch a video about our work on this project here