Global business law firm DLA Piper and the world’s leading organisation for children UNICEF have today announced a ground-breaking new partnership that will support significant expansion and development of UNICEF’s 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 UNICEF’s 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.
Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection for UNICEF, said: “UNICEF is privileged to benefit from DLA Piper’s support with our aim to improve child protection systems around the world, helping to achieve the legal and social changes necessary to strengthen the protection of children from violence, exploitation and abuse.
“This collaboration between DLA Piper and our Global Justice for Children team will help to ensure that more children across the world who come into contact with the justice system are better served and protected.”
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.”
Tony Angel, Global Co-Chairman at DLA Piper, said: "This global partnership is a unique opportunity for us to combine DLA Piper's extensive resources and the expertise of our people with UNICEF's local knowledge and global authority on the rights of children. As lawyers, the right to justice is something we feel very strongly about. We are proud to be able to use our skills to help address a significant global issue with the aim of making a positive impact for future generations."
Notes to editors:
1. DLA Piper is a global law firm with 4,200 lawyers located in more than 30 countries. From its offices across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, legal and business advisers provide a comprehensive range of services to local, regional and international businesses. One of the world's largest providers of pro bono legal services, the firm is the winner of numerous awards for its innovative pro bono work. For further information about our organisation and services, please visit our website: www.dlapiper.com
2. UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk
For more information please contact:
Amanda Butters, PR Manager, DLA Piper
+44 (0)207 796 6688
Ju-Lin Tan, UK Committee for UNICEF
+44 (0)207 375 6030, 07814 549 071