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The project will provide evidence-based advice to EU institutions and Member States on procedural safeguards for children who are suspected or accused of crime. FRA will collect information through a combination of desk research and interviews with lawyers, police, judges, prosecutors, other juvenile justice professionals, as well as with children.
The European Commission has asked FRA to provide information about how Member States apply procedural safeguards in practice relating to criminal proceedings involving children who are suspected or accused of crime, and to highlight fundamental rights implications in this regard. Directive (EU) 2016/800 lays down minimum standards to ensure that these procedural rights are respected throughout the EU. One aim, as noted in the Roadmap on criminal procedural rights for suspects and accused persons, is to strengthen Member States’ trust in each other’s justice systems. FRA’s findings will feed into this, and specifically will support the European Commission’s 2022 implementation report on the above Directive.
The research covers nine Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Malta, Poland, and Portugal. Data will be collected through FRA experts and the Agency’s multidisciplinary research network, FRANET, by means of desk and social fieldwork research. FRA will carry out 20 interviews per country with juvenile justice professionals and an additional 6 interviews with children in selected countries. The findings will complement and build on FRA’s comprehensive evidence base relating to the rights of the defence, to a fair trial and the rights of persons deprived of their liberty (Arts. 6, 47, 48 EU Charter), alongside a wide array of work by FRA related to child-friendly justice.