We are delighted to announce today our new ground breaking partnership with global business law firm DLA Piper. The partnership will support significant expansion and development of our global child justice work. It aims to ensure that children coming into contact with the law are better served and protected.
Through the three year partnership, DLA Piper will pledge up to US$1.5 million through corporate donations and fundraising, with DLA Piper employees encouraged and supported to work together to raise funds for this critical area of UNICEF’s work.
In addition, DLA Piper will provide pro bono assistance to the UK Committee for UNICEF to the value of an additional $5m in support of, and for the benefit of, UNICEF’s global child justice programme. The UK Committee for UNICEF will receive and manage volunteers from DLA Piper’s international staff who will be supporting child justice work. This will include contributing to UNICEF’s work in preparing tools and training resources in the area of justice for children, which will be carried out in collaboration with the global UNICEF child protection team.
Examples include background materials and research support for the development of a ‘Justice for Children’ handbook and a training package for child protection staff on the analysis of the child justice landscape at the country level.
The partnership will initially be supporting our child justice work in Bangladesh, where DLA Piper’s support will help to improve the standards of care and treatment for children who come into contact with the law as victims, witnesses and offenders.
Many justice systems do not have child-sensitive procedures, due to lack of resources or political will. In detention, children may suffer violations of their rights and may be exposed to torture, physical and emotional abuse. UNICEF works around the world to help children to ensure that their life chances are not blighted by coming into conflict with the law. This includes promoting the strengthening of all parts of the child protection system, including the justice mechanisms, to operate in the best interests of the child.
David Bull, Executive Director of the UK Committee for UNICEF, said: "We are delighted to be working with DLA Piper on the issue of child justice, an area of UNICEF’s work that is vital in protecting the rights of children who come into contact with the justice system, but which has historically struggled to receive sufficient support.
"Through this ground-breaking new partnership, we will work together to change policies, systems and culture so that they operate in the best interests of children throughout the world, now and in the future."
Read more about the DLA Piper partnership