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Children as Suspects or Accused Persons in Criminal Proceedings – Procedural Safeguards

Every child has a right to be protected even when they are accused or suspected of committing a crime. The basic principles of justice apply to adults and children alike. But children face specific obstacles during criminal proceedings, such as a lack of understandable information about their rights, limited legal support and poor treatment. The report looks at the practical implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/800 on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings in nine Member States – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Malta, Poland and Portugal.

This report draws on practitioners’ and children’s experiences of how the directive is applied in practice. In so doing, the findings presented support authorities and policymakers in gaining a better understanding of the fundamental rights challenges encountered and potential remedies to address these. The report also highlights good practices that countries could follow to uphold children’s rights.

CSD contributed to the report by carrying out the research in Bulgaria (legal analysis and series of interviews with judges, prosecutors, police officers and lawyers) and producing a country report as background material for the comparative analysis.

The full report and all national background studies are available on the FRA website here.

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