The World Congress on Justice With Children, which takes place November 15—20, is an action-oriented conference where experts and professionals of different capacities exchange ideas and best practices on justice for and with children. Previous World Congresses in Geneva (2015) and Paris (2018) did not feature the Caribbean as a separate region, but as part of Latin America. For the first time, a Caribbean Regional Session will form part of the programme for the World Congress and a team from the Caribbean will feature at the Congress.
This year’s World Congress is virtual and free of charge to registered participants who will receive a certificate of attendance. The website is: https:// justicewithchildren.org/world-congress. Proceedings will be in English, French and Spanish.
The World Congress 2021 is hosted by the Federal Mexican Supreme Court of Justice and organised by the Global Initiative on Justice with Children, comprising Terre des Hommes Foundation, Penal Reform International, The International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates and the International Institute for the Rights of the Child. The Congress is supported by UNICEF and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children. The Scientific Committee organising the programme were drawn from come from North America, Latin and Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Sub- Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Asia Pacific and Oceana. Senator Hazel Thompson-Ahye, who has attended the previous World Congresses, represents the Caribbean.
The World Congress themes are:
Systemic racism and the disproportionate criminalisation of children from indigenous, ethnic and other minority groups;
Discrimination due to gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, fostering a gender justice approach;
Discrimination experienced by children and young people affected by migration, including refugees, unaccompanied foreign children and children of foreign parents;
Discrimination due to disability and health conditions;
Discrimination due to substance use and abuse;
Criminalisation of children’s online behaviour;
Age limits and status offences;
Ensuring the voice of the child is heard in child justice systems;
Fulfilling children’s rights in the context of legal pluralism;
Building resilient child justice systems in times of crises and pandemics; and
Tackling violence within child justice systems and ensuring child-friendly approaches for child victims, offenders and witnesses.
The Caribbean session features: Dr Khadijah Williams, sociologist, social worker; Marian Taylor, Children Probation Officer 111; Rachel Thurab, Senior State Counsel, Children’s Attorney; Masters Nazeera Ali and Sharlene Jaggernauth, of the Supreme Court of T&T, Family and Children Division; Superintendent Claire Guy-Alleyne, Head, Child Protection and Gender Base Violence Unit; Diahann Gordon-Harrison, Children’s Advocate, Jamaica, National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons and ISPCAN executive councillor; Krystle Ahye, attorney-at-law, practitioner in Children’s Court, and Hanif Benjamin, clinical therapist, traumatologist, president/CEO, Centre for Human Development.