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News

Declining juvenile crime Explanations for the international downturn

Originally published in Dutch under the title ‘’Verdampende jeugdcriminaliteit: Verklaringen van de internationale daling’’Justitiële Verkenningen, vol. 43, no. 1, March 2017 Bert Berghuis and Jaap De Waard* Summary In The Netherlands registered youth crime figures show a spectacular downward trend from 2007 (minus 60%). This decrease can be seen amongst girls and boys, and also amongst ethnic minorities and the native Dutch. This trend can also be observed in a lot of other countries. It is striking that also in international terms youth crime has been capped. A strikingly similar picture is apparent to the one in the Netherlands. The level of the available evidence of the decrease in youth crime in a large number of different countries means that the possibility of a coincidental development occurring at the same time is extremely small, and hence there must be a causal connection. It seems that a number of international developments created a climate favorable for juvenile crime reduction: more (techno)prevention, less use of alcohol, more commitment to schooling, more satisfaction with living conditions, and the use of time. For The Netherlands this goes together with an diminished willingness of the Dutch police to follow up on suspicions that a youngster committed a minor offense. However, the real trigger for the freefall of youth crime seems to be the extensive worldwide dissemination of smartphones and online-games that started in 2006/7. This led to a lot of free time spent ‘looking at screens’ and not being present on the street and public space. So the main factor responsible for the fall in youth crime can be found in the use of free time and a different role and influence of peer groups.

Human Trafficking's High Toll on Homeless Youth

In North America, nearly one-fifth of homeless youth are victims of human trafficking By Devon Haynie | News Editor April 17, 2017, at 4:45 p.m. The trafficking of young adults isn't only a problem in developing nations. In the U.S. and Canada, nearly one-fifth of homeless youth are victims of human trafficking, according to new studies. Of 911 homeless young adults interviewed between February 2014 and March 2017, about 20 percent reported being trafficked for sex, labor or both. The majority, 15 percent, were trafficked for sex, 7.4 percent were trafficked for labor, and 3 percent were trafficked for both. RELATED CONTENT Children are seen inside a bus during an evacuation operation of rebel fighters and their families from rebel-held neighbourhoods in the embattled city of Aleppo on December 15, 2016. A convoy of ambulances and buses left rebel territory in Aleppo in the first evacuations under a deal for opposition fighters to leave the city after years of fighting. The rebel withdrawal will pave the way for President Bashar al-Assad's forces to reclaim complete control of Syria's second city, handing the regime its biggest victory in more than five years of civil war. / AFP / KARAM AL-MASRI (Photo credit should read KARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images) Why There Are So Few Syrian Orphans in the U.S. The findings, based on the largest-ever combined sample of homeless youth in the U.S. and Canada, are the result of a joint project of the University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University New Orleans. Researchers interviewed 17- to 25-year-olds in 13 cities from Vancouver to the District of Columbia to ask about human trafficking, which the U.S. government defines as "modern-day slavery" that "involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act." Debra Schilling Wolfe, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania's Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research, said trafficking rates were consistent despite the different sizes of the cities. Most of the youth interviewed had used services at Covenant House, a charity that operates the largest network of shelters and community service centers for homeless youth in North America. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth were disproportionately affected by sex trafficking, researchers found. Though the group made up only 19.2 percent of the respondents, it accounted for about 34 percent of sex trafficking victims, and about 32 percent of those who engaged in the sex trade. Transgender young adults were the most vulnerable to the sex trade. Of transgender youth interviewed, 56 percent reported being involved in the sex trade in some way. [READ: For the LGBTIQ, a Gulf Between Laws and Acceptance] Among homeless youth, women had higher odds of being involved in the sex trade. Of women surveyed, 40.5 percent said they had interacted with the industry, while 25.3 percent of young men reported involvement. Certain risk factors put youth more at risk to be victimized, researchers said. Almost all of the young adults, or 95 percent, involved with sex trafficking surveyed by University of Pennsylvania reported mistreatment during their childhood, with 49 percent reporting a history of childhood sexual abuse. Youth who completed high school and reported the presence of a supportive adult in their lives were less likely to be sex trafficked. When it came to labor trafficking, most cases, or 81 percent, were instances of forced drug dealing, according to research by the Modern Slavery Research Project at Loyola University New Orleans. Schilling Wolfe, of the Field Center, said one way to limit the trafficking of homeless young adults is to eliminate the causes of homelessness. "The child welfare system and the foster system create homeless young adults," she says. "When young people turn the magic age of 18 or 21, depending on the state, they are on their own. Without the training, support and resources to survive, they become victimized. We need to do a better job of launching our adolescent population into adulthood." Between 11 and 37 percent of youth who age out of foster care become homeless, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They are even more likely to have unstable housing arrangements.

Register for Webinar: How States are Innovating with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Hosted by The Council of State Governments Register for this webinarDate: Tuesday, May 9 Time: 2–3 p.m. ET This webinar will provide an overview of workforce development initiatives in the states, including a high-level summary of state plans for implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Experts on WIOA will provide state examples of both consolidated and unified plans.

Nominations open for Australia’s best crime and violence prevention programs

19 April 2017 Nominations are now open for the 2017 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA). These awards recognise and reward good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia. Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Mr Chris Dawson, said the awards are open to projects of all sizes, including smaller initiatives involving local community groups, that have been fully operational prior to 1 February 2016. “These awards play a vital role in highlighting effective community-based initiatives to prevent crime and violence, before it actually occurs,” Mr Dawson said. “I strongly encourage businesses, community networks, and members of the public to nominate local projects that have made an impact on their community by preventing or reducing crime and violence,” Mr Dawson said. “These awards encourage public initiatives, and assist governments in identifying and developing practical projects which will reduce violence and other types of crime in the community. “Last year, 15 programs were recognised as winners for their outstanding contributions to crime and violence prevention in the Australian community,” Mr. Dawson said. The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council. Nominations close 19 May 2017. To apply for this year’s awards visit

DERAD project: prevention of the escalation of radicalization in the prison environment

CEP is associative parnter of the DERAD project. DERAD is an European project that aims to prevent the escalation of radicalization in the prison environment and help prisoners and probationers who are often exposed to Jihadist recruitment or self-radicalization to overcome the different problems and push factors usually exploited by recruiters. The project is led by the Italian Ministry of Justice. In a brief interview, Mr. Enrico Sbriglia, Regional Superintendent of Penitentiary Administration for Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige e Friuli Venezia Giulia, gives us insights in the project.

CJP’s International Criminal Justice Summer Courses 2017

The Criminal Justice Platform is launching a new event in Barcelona July 2017. The focus will be on developing practice. Expert practitioners will be running courses for colleagues from across Europe.The aim is to ‘examine key practice issues, inspire new thinking, promote cross-fertilization and build new networks to improve services and practice in prisons, probation and restorative justice’.

The European Union’s Policies on Counter-Terrorism: Relevance, Coherence and Effectiveness

The terrorist threat in the EU is very likely to increase over the next five years, particularly due to an expected increase in returning foreign fighters from the battlefield of Syria and Iraq. In addition, the diversification of the approaches used by terrorists, the range of targets chosen, the level of organisation of the perpetrators and the type of weapons chosen (especially the trend of ‘weaponisation’ of ordinary life) make the lives of security authorities even more challenging. In these circumstances, how can counter-terrorism policy be improved? A new study commissioned by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, and produced by PwC and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT), analyses the coherence and effectiveness of the European Union’s counter-terrorism policy.

Mothers against radicalisation: a successful local approach

With the project Oumnia Works, the Dutch municipality of The Hague aims on mothers as a weapon against radicalization. Mothers often feel that their children radicalized. They have a ‘gut feeling’, but usually do not come into action. If their child is traveling to Syria or is arrested for a crime with terrorist intent, they are left with the cry of despair ‘if only I had … “. Support Centre Sabr, a women’s organization in the Dutch city of The Hague answers to this need by launching the ‘Oumnia works’ program where mothers learn what they can do to prevent a radicalization process in their child’s mind.

European Commission: Protecting all children in migration: Commission outlines priority actions

Brussels, 12 April 2017 Over the past two years, a growing number of children in migration have arrived in the EU, many of them without their families. While EU and Member States' legislation provide a solid framework for protection, the recent surge in arrivals has put national systems under pressure and exposed gaps and shortcomings. This is why the Commission is today setting out actions to reinforce the protection of all migrant children at all stages of the process. It is necessary to ensure that migrant children are swiftly identified when they arrive in the EU and that they receive child-adequate treatment. Trained personnel need to be available to assist children during their status determination and children should be provided with sustainable long-term perspectives through better access to education and health care. Child protection is a central priority in the European Agenda on Migration and the Commission will continue to support Member States' efforts through training, guidance, operational support and funding. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "The number of children arriving in the EU with or without their families has increased dramatically. We need to make sure that children who need protection actually receive it. And we need to do it now. This is our moral duty as well as our legal responsibility. Children should be our top priority as they are the most vulnerable, especially when they have nobody to guide them. That is why today we are setting out a number of concrete actions to better protect, support and take care of the best interests of all children who are arriving in the European Union." Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said:"One in three asylum seekers in Europe is a child. Children are the most vulnerable migrants and ensuring their protection from the moment they leave their home countries should be mainstreamed in our migration policy. This means that we need a comprehensive and stepped-up response. Today we propose concrete actions to support our Member States in addressing the needs of all children at all stages of migration: to improve the identification of children, to train involved personnel, to step up relocation, but also to ensure swift family tracing in countries of origin and measures to enhance early integration. Both the Commission and our EU agencies stand ready to move forward to implement these actions." Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vĕra Jourová added:"When speaking about child migrants, we should never forget that first and foremost they are children. Their best interests must be taken into consideration at all stages of the migration process. Child migrants, especially those who are unaccompanied, should be supported by guardians or foster families, as early as possible. The integration of these children into our societies depends on how fast they can go back to a more stable life. We will continue to support Member States to give these children the childhood they deserve." Drawing on expertise from all relevant policy areas, the Commission is proposing a number of priority areas for Member States to focus on, supported by the Commission and EU Agencies, to improve the protection of children in migration and ensure a closer link between the asylum and child protection services: Swift identification and protection upon arrival: A person responsible for child protection should be present at an early stage of the registration phase and in all reception facilities hosting children and child protection officers should be appointed in each hotspot. Member States should put in place the necessary procedures to systematically report and exchange information on all missing children. Adequate reception conditions for children: The needs of each child must be assessed as early as possible upon arrival and all children need to have access to legal assistance, healthcare, psychosocial support and education without delay and regardless of their status. For unaccompanied minors, the possibility of foster or family-based care should be provided. Everything must be done to provide alternatives to administrative detention for children. Swift status determination and effective guardianship: The role of guardians for unaccompanied minors should be strengthened. To this end, the Commission will establish a European guardianship network to exchange good practices. To support the implementation of reliable age-assessment procedures by all Member States, EASO will update its guidance shortly. Concerted efforts should also be made to speed up family tracing and family reunification procedures, within or outside the EU. In all procedures related to the migration process, cases with children should always be given priority. This goes for relocation of unaccompanied migrants from Greece or Italy as well. Durable solutions and early integration measures: The Commission will further promote the integration of children through funding and the exchange of good practices.Member States are called upon to step up resettlement of children in need of protection and to ensure that family tracing and reintegration measures are put in place for those children who are to be returned. Addressing root causes and protecting children along migrant routes outside the EU: The EU has stepped up its work with partner countries on mainstreaming child protection in migration under the Migration Partnership Framework. Further efforts are needed to support partner countries in strengthening national child protection systems and in preventing child trafficking. A timely follow-up to the recently-renewed EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, including in countries of origin and transit, should be ensured. A determined, concerted and coordinated follow-up to the key actions set out in this Communication is required at EU, national, regional and local level, also in cooperation with civil society and international organisations.The Commission will closely monitor this process and report regularly to the Council and European Parliament. Background In the context of the migration crisis, the number of child migrants arriving in Europe has increased significantly. In 2015 and 2016, 30 percent of asylum applicants in the EU were children. As children in migration are exposed to high risks of violence, trafficking or exploitation along migration routes or may go missing, or become separated from their families, they require a specific protection. Children have the right to be protected, in line with relevant provisions of EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and with international law on the rights of the child. The child's best interests must be the primary consideration in all actions or decisions concerning children. This Communication follows up on the European Agenda on Migrationand the Communication on the State of Play of Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration. It builds on progress made under the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (2010-2014) as outlined in the Staff Working Paper accompanying the Communication. It also builds on the 10th European Forum on the rights of the child organised by the Commission in November 2016 and on the "Lost in Migration" conference from January 2017, which have underlined the need for urgent targeted actions to better protect children in migration.