Professional training on how to work with children, and clear rules and guidelines would go a long way to improving how professionals treat children during proceedings. It would help ensure children feel their right to be heard is being respected, enabling them to freely express their views and participate effectively.
Another major source of anxiety is meeting defendants or their families during proceedings when waiting for hearings, for example. Therefore, providing settings, specialised courts, panels and judges for children would put children at ease. Using video links or admitting pre-recorded evidence would also minimise risk of contact.
Proceedings which are often long and drawn out where the same questions can be asked repeatedly can be another source of frustration. It is therefore vital to keep children adequately abreast of what is happening. This includes using age-appropriate information about their rights and the latest developments throughout proceedings. Using a single point of contact who they trust also helps.
The report also contains checklists to help make proceedings more child-friendly.