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Safeguarding the Rights of Girls in the Criminal Justice System: Preventing Violence, Stigmatization and Deprivation of Liberty

This report is an excellent resource explaining how the "criminal justice system should aim to prevent incidents of violence, bring perpetrators to justice, and ensure recovery and social reintegration for victims. Like any other group in society, women and girls are entitled to nothing less ... however, the social, economic and cultural position of girls, together with deeply rooted discriminatory attitudes toward them in society as a whole, influence the attitudes and responses of the criminal justice system to heinous crimes of violence committed against them. Rather than benefitting from rehabilitation, protection and redress, girls who fall victim to violence often find themselves criminalized, which can lead, in turn, to further violence against them, inhuman punishment and unlawful deprivation of liberty. At the same time, perpetrators of violence against girls are rarely held accountable for their actions or deterred from committing further criminal acts" (p. 1). Sections comprising this document are: introduction-scope and purpose, an overview of violence against girls, the experience of girls in the criminal justice system, and factors contributing to the vulnerability of girls in the criminal justice system; gender-role stereotypes as a barrier to girls' access to justice; ensuring robust legislation to prevent and to respond to violence against girls; implementing comprehensive prevention programs; strengthening the capacity of the criminal justice system to prevent violence, stigmatization, and deprivation of liberty amongst girls; strengthening accountability and ending impunity; and conclusions and recommendations.