The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) in partnership with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) spearhead the first-ever Southeast Asia Learning Session on Juvenile Justice in the counter-terrorism context on March 8 – 10, 2023 in Manila.

The learning session aims to increase the capacity of criminal justice actors to handle better children affected by terrorism, present and analyze the results of the JJWC baseline study; spread the principles enshrined in the IIJ Practitioners’ Notes and the Neuchatel Memorandum, and engage each national delegation in developing a set of practical recommendations tailored to their respective national realities to ensure the best interests of the child in a terrorism context. This will be participated in by investigators, representatives from the judiciary, prosecutors, public attorneys, social workers, and other relevant actors from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

“JJWC is honored to co-facilitate the first Regional Learning Session. This is an opportune and of advantage chance for the Philippines to expand our knowledge and ideas on the best practices of our neighboring countries who have the same sentiments as us and have been experiencing the same terrorism-related attack on their children under their care, on how they manifest actions to properly deal with these issues,” said JJWC Executive Director Atty. Tricia Clare A. Oco.

Among the topics of the sessions are The Scope of the Problem: Ensuring Justice for Children Affected by Terrorist Organizations, Armed Forces, and Armed Groups; Child Justice and the Contribution of the IIJ; Investigations and Prosecutions of Children in a Counter-Terrorism Context: National Practices and Challenges; Introduction to the IIJ Notes for Investigators and Prosecutors; Alternatives to Custodial Measures: National Practices and Challenges, Introduction to the IIJ Notes for Defense Counsel and Judges; Role of Social Workers in Ensuring Justice for Children in a Counter-Terrorism Context; The Philippines’ Baseline Study on Children in a Counter-Terrorism Context; and Drafting Session of Recommendations by Each National Delegation.

“We have high hopes that this event is the initial step towards the continuous collaboration and partnership between the Southeast Asian Region to exchange better government measures and protocols that can best serve our children,” Atty. Oco emphasized.