UN Secretary-General Guidance Note: UN Approach to Justice for Children


This note provides the guiding principles and framework for UN justice for children activities at
the national level that apply in all circumstances, including in conflict prevention, crisis, postcrisis,
conflict, post-conflict and development contexts. It is framed within the UN mandate to
support the realisation of human rights, poverty reduction and the Millennium Development
Goals, and is a contribution to the UN coherence agenda in the rule of law area.

The goal of the justice for children approach is to ensure that children, defined by the
Convention on the Rights of the Child as all persons under the age of eighteen, are better served
and protected by justice systems, including the security and social welfare sectors. It specifically
aims at ensuring full application of international norms and standards for all children who come
into contact with justice and related systems as victims, witnesses and alleged offenders; or for
other reasons where judicial, state administrative or non-state adjudicatory intervention is
needed, for example regarding their care, custody or protection.



UN Rule of Law

Publication Date: 2008