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Rehabilitation and reeducation as an alternative to internment
Terre des Hommes (Tdh) promotes restorative rather than punitive forms of justice in countries such as Peru (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/peru), Nicaragua (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/nicaragua), Columbia (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/colombia), Brazil (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/brazilor), Ecuador (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/ecuador). Tdh and the Conference of Justice Ministers of Latin American Countries (COMJIB) signed a cooperation agreement to promote rehabilitative juvenile justice measures for youths found guilty of penal crimes.
In its ongoing struggle for the rights of children and adolescents, Tdh has signed a collaborative accord with the COMJIB in order to modernize the actions of the authorities in matters of juvenile justice.
Thanks to this accord, concluded by Philippe Buchs, General Director of Programs at Tdh Lausanne, and Fernando Ferraro Castro, General Secretary of the COMJIB, both institutions are united in their effort to uphold the rights of adolescents and youths implicated in violent acts. Currently, legal practices in certain Latin American countries are focused on punishment rather than on reeducation and rehabilitation.
A long-term endeavor
Tdh has worked for over ten years in countries such as Peru, Nicaragua, Columbia, Brazil or Ecuador for the rehabilitation of adolescents in conflict with penal law for minor infractions (theft and assault without a weapon) by means other than internment.
A restorative approach to juvenile justice involves the families, in order to prevent violence, and also the victims by tending to their needs and insuring they receive reparations for damages caused. The foundation also promotes the participation of the community in the dialogue process.
Recognized and valued expertise
Tdh has been acknowledged for its expertise in matters concerning children’s rights. The organization has won over twenty prizes namely the Javier Pérez de Cuéllar Award for human rights in 2012. Tdh also was awarded the Veillard-Cybulski Prize by the International Association of Juges, Magistrates and families in 2010 for its project on Rehabilitative Juvenile Justice in Peru (http://www.tdh.ch/en/news/terre-des-hommes--juvenile-justice-rewarded). Mostly recently, Tdh was a finalist for the Hague Institute’s Innovation Prize, which acknowledges innovative justice projects.
The next important step in Tdh’s involvement with juvenile justice is the organization of the World Congress on Restorative Juvenile Justice (http://www.tdh.ch/en/news/world-congress-juvenile-justice), which will be held in Geneva in January 2015 in partnership with the Swiss government. This event will be an opportunity to share information about best practices and positive experiences, and also to present the latest innovations in judicial reform.
Every year, Terre des hommes offers sustainable solutions and a better future for over two million children and their relatives. Learn more about our projects in matters of juvenile justice (http://www.tdh.ch/en/topics/protection/juvenile-justice).