In a recent conference presentation, Annemieke Wolthuis, an independent researcher, trainer, and mediator from the Netherlands, discussed the intersection of children’s rights and restorative justice. Wolthuis, who is associated with Restorative Justice Nederland and works as a part-time juvenile judge in Rotterdam, highlighted the main standards and principles of restorative youth justice, as well as the challenges and promising practices in this field.
During the presentation, Wolthuis emphasized the need to improve access to restorative justice for children and young people. She discussed the importance of making the process more child-friendly and identified the cultural changes required to implement these improvements effectively. Wolthuis also touched upon new developments in restorative justice and shared insights on how to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for children involved in the justice system.
One of the key themes explored in the conversation was the relationship between children’s rights and restorative justice. Wolthuis, along with her colleague Maartje Berger from Defence for Children, delved into the fundamental principles that underpin restorative youth justice. They discussed how restorative justice can align with and uphold the rights of children, ensuring their voices are heard, their needs are met, and their well-being is prioritized.
The presentation shed light on the challenges faced in implementing restorative justice for children and young people. Wolthuis and Berger highlighted the need for systemic changes and cultural shifts to make restorative justice more accessible and effective. They explored the significance of creating a child-friendly environment within the justice system and the importance of involving children in decision-making processes that directly impact their lives.
Overall, Wolthuis’s conference presentation provided valuable insights into the realm of children’s rights and restorative justice. By addressing the main standards and principles, discussing new developments, and exploring the challenges and promising practices, Wolthuis highlighted the path towards a more inclusive and child-centered justice system. Her expertise and dedication to promoting restorative justice in the Netherlands and beyond make her a valuable contributor to the field of social justice.