The main purpose of the meeting was to define common strategies in juvenile justice issues for ASEAN Member States. Current regional and international developments were addressed, with the objective of delivering the output of this meeting to institutional levels in ASEAN Member States and in the region.
The APCJJ ASEAN Subcommittee meeting focused on three thematic issues:
1. Cross-border cooperation in the ASEAN concerning the Treatment of Children in Conflict with the Law: good practices and experiences for the drafting of regional guidelines
Transnational judicial cooperation has become an important topic for the APCJJ Subcommittee for ASEAN in addressing the issue of cross-border safeguards for children in contact/conflict with the law, with ASEAN´s decision to foster circulation of people and goods by the end of December 2015. It is in this context that a common strategy on cross-border safeguards for children in conflict with the law must be established. A draft summary titled ‘Cross-Border Safeguards for Children in Contact with the Law’ was used as a starting point in this discussion. The objective of the meeting was to establish guidelines that ASEAN Member States can implement in order to guarantee a minimum standard of human rights for children in contact and/or conflict with the law in cross-border situations.
2. Children deprived of liberty, conditions, situations and challenges in the context of the preparation of the UN Global Study (UN GSCDL)
In 2015 a group of NGOs made a call for the global study, signaling that many children are still being detained today, sometimes even for minor offences. This topic was put on the agenda of the second meeting of the APCJJ Subcommittee for ASEAN, with the aim of making an important contribution to this study.
The GSCDL will document the current situation of children deprived of liberty by collecting qualitative and quantitative data. It will also identify good practices and provide recommendations for actions at a national, regional and international level aimed at preventing detention and reducing the number of children deprived of their liberty. The IJJO identifies this issue as paramount, as it centers its attention on children deprived of liberty within the criminal justice system.
3. Strategies for eliminating Violence against children in conflict with the law: implementing the VAC regional plan of action in the ASEAN
The meeting included a discussion on the implementation of ASEAN’s Regional Plan of Action on Elimination of Violence Against Children, which sets out the most important topics for juvenile justice in the ASEAN region. This provided a forum for discussion and sharing of best practices by different ASEAN Member States as well as by experts on the subject.
In this context, a portion of the meeting was dedicated to the implementation of the UN Model Strategies on Violence Against Children In Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
These model strategies are being implemented in diverse ways around the globe, and can be very useful for the implementation of ASEAN’s Regional Plan on elimination of violence against children, in particular those in the criminal justice system.