National conference_Listen to the child_ in Sofia

National conference "Listen to the child" organized by the Social Activities and Practices Institute was held on June 27 and 28 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The conference brought together judges, prosecutors, and representatives of the National School for Legal Protection of Youth at the Ministry of Justice of France, municipalities and regional directorates of the Ministry of Interior, the Regional Directorates for Social Assistance and departments for child protection, as well as NGOs.

The aim of the conference was to analyse the changes in the practices of participation of children in legal proceedings when they are victims or witnesses of crimes. Associate Professor Nelly Petrova, a Chairperson of the MB of SAPI, presented good practices of child-friendly justice that ensures effective protection of children's rights piloted in several regions of the country. At the conference was presented the survey "Participation of children victims or witnesses of crimes in legal proceedings. Analysis of the Change" showing the trends and policy development for children friendly justice for the past six years.


Data from the study of the practice of interrogation of child witness in civil or criminal cases shows that 55.2% of the children were interviewed three or more times during the whole movement in the case before reaching court. In 31% of child abuse cases the period until its hearing in court was two years. Furthermore, children are questioned in the police premises or in the courtroom in the presence of the accused, which is further stress for them. It should be noted that the interrogation specialists are not prepared for interrogation consistent with the child's psyche, especially in the cases of young children and sexual abuse. As a consequence of this practice, children are traumatized, and the collected information can not serve justice.

More information

Submitted by admin on Fri, 2013-07-26 10:07.