Between 12 and 14 November 2015, the IIJ hosted a Swiss-funded expert meeting in Malta on the pressing issue of juvenile justice in a counter-terrorism context. The meeting, held under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), and brought together representatives from Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Lebanon, Malta, Niger, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as participants from international organisations and NGOs, namely CREATE, Justice for All Prison Fellowship Ethiopia, the Committee of the Rights of the Child, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the OSCE, the ISS, and the United Nations. The event was opened by a presentation of preliminary findings of a recent UNICRI study on ‘children and counter-terrorism’.
During the three days, the experts exchanged views and engaged in discussions on juvenile’s unique situation and their protection under international law, the potential for alternatives to criminal justice to address terrorism, the investigation and prosecution of juvenile terrorist suspects, and the role of rehabilitation and CVE initiatives targeted at juveniles. The discussions during the conference yielded ten preliminary good practices with regards to juvenile justice in a counter-terrorism context, with the aim to guide and inform future processes involving juvenile terrorism offenders. These practices are currently under review and will be subject to further discussion at a follow-up expert meeting in 2016.