It is important people are protected from crime – including crimes committed by children – and that victims are given some remedy.
However, this has to be balanced with the fact that some children in conflict with the law may have experienced difficulties in their childhood – such as poverty, family breakdown or drug and alcohol use –which has led to their behaviour.
Some of them may also be victims themselves.
Where the law says that a child should be punished for their actions in the criminal justice system, this can impact their future. States must recognise children’s vulnerability both as victims and perpetrators of crime.