WHAT ARE CHILDREN AND CHILD ATHLETE ABUSE VICTIMS, WITNESSES AND PERPETRATORS’ RIGHTS?

A. Children and Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators of all ages throughout the justice process:
• have the right to be treated with dignity and compassion
• have respect at all times
• treated in a caring and sensitive manner
• treated individually with their own needs, wishes and feelings
• be interviewed during the investigations of a crime with ample time of time necessary to find the facts
• interviewers should be specially trained for asking appropriate questions, in the appropriate way of children interviewers should interview the child in a location where the child is comfortable and secure and in a language that the child uses and understands.

B. have the right to be protected from discrimination.
Some Child Athlete Victim, because of the way they have been harmed, needspecial help and protection, particularly those who have been sexually assaulted. Girls and boys have different needs. Special services should be offered to help these children according to their special needs.

C. have the right
• to participate fully in the justice process, unless it is not in their best interest. When a child is a witness, the child’s testimony should be respected as true unless it is proven otherwise, when the child understands the questions and has responded without assistance. The child should not suffer harm or be at risk for participating in this process.
• to be informed. This means to know what is happening and to ask questions if not understand.
• to be heard and to express views and concerns, have a right to give an opinion, to be listened to and taken seriously. Every Child Athlete Victim has the right to say what they think should happen when adults are making decisions about their lives.
• to effective assistance. The right to receive help.

D. have the right, when needed, family members should be able to get help from trained professionals, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, judges, police, social workers and all other people who work with child victims and witnesses of crime.

E. have the right to receive legal help, health care, social or educational services, and money. It can include medical and psychological services that can help children if they have been hurt or suffered harm. It includes any services that may be needed to help children recover and feel secure.

F. have the right to receive help from specialists trained to assist them. The job of these specialists is to explain to children what will happen at each step of the justice process and what will be expected from them. These specialists also explain to Child Athlete Victims and their families where to go for different kinds of support.

G. Professionals should develop ways to help Children and Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators of all ages testify or give evidence more easily. include:
• Making sure that specialists are available to help children who may have special needs;
• specialists or close family members are with the Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators of all ages during his or her testimony whenever needed, as long as it’s in the Child’s best interests;
• that an adult is appointed by the court to be the Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators’ “legal guardian.” This may be necessary if a child’s parent or person who is responsible for that child is not available to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child.
• have the right to privacy. This means you have a right to keep your personal information to yourself. It means other things too.
• right to be protected from hardship during the justice process. This means a right to be protected from being treated badly from the moment a crime has been discovered, throughout the investigation of that crime and the trial.

H. Professionals should always be understanding and kind. They should also:
• Stay with Children and Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators through all stages of the justice process, providing help and support to the child;
• Make sure that when the Child Athlete Victim is expected to attend hearings and trials these are planned ahead of time so the child has time to prepare and should meet with the same professionals to receive help throughout the process;
• Make sure that the trials are completed in as short a time as possible, unless a delay is in the Child’s best interest.
• Investigations involving Child Athlete Victims should be conducted as quickly as possible and there should be laws or court rules to make sure that cases involving children are heard first. A Child Athlete Victim should be asked to come to court only when necessary;
• Make sure that Child Athlete Victims are questioned in special rooms where they can feel comfortable and safe.
• Courtrooms should also be set up to make children feel at ease.
• Children should be able to take breaks during their testimony, and hearings should be scheduled during the time of day that is best for the age and maturity of the child. Everything possible should be done to make it easier for the child to testify.
• Limit the number of times a Child is questioned, gives statements, and attends hearings. One way to do this is by recording what the Child says with a sealed video camera.
• Make sure the Child Athlete Victim or Witness has contact with the accused, also known as the alleged perpetrator, only when absolutely necessary. When children are questioned in court, it should always be out of sight of the accused. A child should never be questioned by the accused. Separate waiting rooms and private interview areas should be available for children who testify.
• Ensure, with help from the judge, that Child Athlete Victim or Witness are questioned in court in a way that they understand and that does not frighten them.
• The right to safety and a right to feel secure and not be harmed.
• The right to reparation and a right to receive compensation in return for being hurt, to help you recover.
• The right to special preventive measures, a right to be protected from further harm.

I. Rules exist to protect the rights of all children and to prevent them from being hurt and from suffering any harm. But adults should take extra steps to make sure children are protected.
• When there is a risk that a child victim may be harmed, special actions need to be taken to protect the child. Specific actions will be needed to protect children who have been hurt in their homes, children who have been used for sex, children who have suffered harm while living in institutions and children who have been moved from one country to another for purposes of work, sex or for other abuse and in Sports, Recreation and Exercise.

J. Professionals working with Children and Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators should be trained
• to protect and meet the needs of child victims and witnesses. They should be provided with all the latest information and training so that they can continuously improve their work.
• Professionals should receive training:
• To learn about Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators human rights,
• To learn the correct way to behave when working with Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators and how to explain their work to children;
• To recognize when a Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators are in danger or has suffered harm by identifying marks or injuries or by noticing the way a child is acting, that may reveal the child has been hurt or threatened;
• To know when to take immediate action to help a Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators, and where to bring the child for help, always making sure the child’s privacy is protected;
• To learn how to speak with Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators of all ages so that children feel comfortable and understand what is going on. This includes listening to children and helping to reassure children who are confused or afraid.
• To learn ways of questioning Child that will not frighten or harm them but will help to reveal the truth;
• To learn about the different roles and jobs of professionals working with Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators of all ages
• make every effort to work together, each contributing what they can to make sure that Child Athletes, Witnesses and Perpetrators of all ages receive the best possible care and protection.
• It may be necessary to create rules to make sure everyone does job their well.
4. All countries should share important information and work together to find out about, investigate and take legal action against adults who travel to different countries to harm Child Athlete Victim or Witness.
5. Professionals should use these guidelines to develop laws and other rules to help Child Athlete Victim or Witness involved in the justice process.

[Adopted from the UNITED NATIONS GUIDELINES ON JUSTICE IN MATTERS INVOLVING CHILD VICTIMS AND WITNESSES OF CRIME; For the official version of the UN Guidelines see Economic and Social Council resolution 2005/20 of 22 July 2005. This child-friendly version, which has been produced by UNICEF and UNODC with the support of the Innocent Research Centre and IBCR, is meant as guidance for children and child professionals]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *