Restorative justice for child victims

Restorative justice for child victims

The Social Activities and Practices Institute implements the project  "Restorative Justice for Child Victims", financed by Justice Programme of EC (JUST / 2015 / SPOB / AG / VICT).

The project aims to implement successful practices in the area of ​​juvenile justice restraint in the EU to respond in the most satisfactory way to the needs of young victims of crime.


The specific objectives of the project are:

· Training of specialists in 3 elected EU Member States on the concrete use of restorative justice practices with child victims.

· Make restorative justice a more common response to crimes committed against and / or by young people in the EU28, regardless of the seriousness of the offense or the age of the victim or offender.

· Protect and respond to the needs of young victims of crime through validated restorative justice processes

· To contribute to a better implementation of the 2012/29 / EU Directive on Victims.

· To contribute to the enforcement of Directive 2016/800 on procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused of criminal proceedings, Article 19.3


The logic of project intervention initially envisages each country to briefly analyze its possibilities for applying restorative justice (for countries where the practice will be piloted) or describe the implementation of the restorative justice approaches that apply (for mentoring countries ). As a result of this study, Bulgaria will be mentored by Finland to implement mediation as a "victim-perpetrator". The Finnish Mediation Model includes a special service that organizes the mediation process - recruits and trains mediators, accepts mediation requests and organizes mediation itself, tracks the implementation of the agreement if it is achieved.

It is important to note that in Finland, unlike Bulgaria, mediation is not only an alternative means of dispute resolution, but also seeks a gaining and restorative effect not only on the material dispute, looking for a lasting change in the behavior of the perpetrator.

This is why the Finnish approach is particularly well suited to smaller criminal acts - damage to foreign property, petty theft, antisocial behavior. In this connection, during the meeting between the perpetrator and the victim, it is agreed not only the restoration of the damage, but also a dialogue on the motives for committing the act, as well as the effect that the act on the victim - that is, on the victim. The personal reconciliation and overcoming of the act is also sought. On the other hand, the perpetrator is given the opportunity to understand the error.