Integrated approach for fair justice in the best interest of the child

Integrated approach  for fair justice  in the best interest of the child

This manual is based on the rights of the child and their best interest. It perceives the idea of adapting justice to the needs of the child victim of crime as the main idea, along with the integration of all interventions aimed at the child’s protection and support.

The manual is developed under the Listen to the Child – Justice Befriends the Child project, funded by the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Commission, on the basis of the experience and research work of the Social Activities and Practices Institute (Bulgaria), A.p.s. Il fiore del deserto (Italy), La Voix de l’Enfant (France), Federatia Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale  pentru Copil  (FONPC) (Romania), the  International Juvenile Justice  Observatory (Belgium), the Bulgarian Paediatrical Association as well as partners from the State Agency for Child Protection (Bulgaria), the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria. The assessment model described by it will be piloted in Bulgaria.

The manual draws on the experience of SAPI in the development of methodological tools: guidelines, manuals, child assessment frameworks; experience gained over a period of nearly fifteen years of providing social services to children and families at risk, including to child victims of abuse and negligence. The manual is based also on the organisation’s experience in introducing child-friendly procedures for participation of child victims or witnesses of crime in legal procedures in Bulgaria over the period 2007 to date.

The manual is based also on researches, studies and experience in developing methodological materials, training programmes in  introduction of  child-friendly justice for multi-disciplinary teams of SAPI, conducted in partnership with Nobody’s Children Foundation (Poland), Center against Abuse Dardedze (Latvia), Child Support Center (Lithuania), National Center for Child Abuse Prevention (Moldova) and Child Well-Being Fund (Ukraine).

The manual reflects also what was presented at the 9th Forum on the rights of the child – Coordination and cooperation in integrated child protection systems, organised by the EC Directorate-General for Justice.

The purpose of the manual is to offer support to the professionals from the justice, protection, support and recovery systems of  EU countries in implementing the assessment of child victims of crime in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2012/29/EU, while fully recognising the Directive’s principles, considerations as well as the requirements.

The manual reflects the project team’s understanding about the introduction of an individual assessment, which would ensure an integrated multi-institutional approach, bringing together measures and activities safeguarding the best interest of the child and the interest of justice.

The manual includes:

  • a summary of the philosophy of the Directive within the context of the rights of the child and the principles of justice, adapted to the needs of the child;
  • analysis of the situation in six EU countries with relation to the implementation of individual assessment of child victim or witness of crime;
  • method of individual assessment of a child, to be used by professionals from the protection, judicial and rehabilitation systems;
  • best intervention and support practices for crime victims presented by six countries
  • recommendations for the implementation of inter-institutional and multidisciplinary approach to the protection of crime victims in Italy, France, Bulgaria and Romania.

Prof. Nelly Petrova-Dimitrova, SAPI, Sofia University
“St. Kliment Ohridski”


The manual is available in 5 languages - Bulgarian, French, English, Romanian and Italian (ref. below) and includes multimedia representing practices in the child-friendly justice in three countries - Bulgaria, France and Italy.


Sapi  and team
Sapi and team