Policing of Children and Young People: A Case for “Child-Friendly Police”

Children and young people come into contact with the police for a variety of reasons such as when they commit offences, witness crimes or as victims of crimes. 

This paper aims to highlight the challenges that arise during and following police contact with children. Children’s developing emotional and psychological maturity makes them vulnerable to risks of exploitation during such police contact and possibly within the justice system. This paper considers the relationship between the police and children, on a global basis and analyses the international frameworks that govern this relationship. The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore common themes and promising practices in relation to child-friendly policing. 

This policy brief, results from a working group formed during the 2018 World Congress on Justice with Children. It is supported by the Global Initiative on Justice with Children, authored by Terres des hommes with pro-bono support from Baker McKenzie and endorsed by members of the Child Justice Advocacy group, as Defence for Children International.