On January 31st the Institute of Azerbaijani Ombudsmen hosted talks on the establishment of Juvenile Justice. The Penitentiary Service informed Trend that a pilot project on child justice in the Binagadi District, which was recently suspended, will now be launched.
A joint pilot project of UNICEF on juvenile justice designed over 3 years was suspended in January 2007. Under the project there are plans to establish specialized juvenile courts in the country and a Juvenile Code on alternative punishment for the underage.
Representatives of the Penitentiary System assert that there is no necessity in Azerbaijan to establish juvenile courts. The training of several juvenile judges would be enough for the application of childish justice. Crimes committed by children in Azerbaijan are not so wide spread. Every year the underage commit around 450 crimes and of them 250 cases are sent for consideration. Finally, 10-15% of the arrested are made answerable. For instance in Ukraine, there are approximately100,000 homeless children, while the number of crimes committed by the underage in 2005 exceeded 20,000 cases. Nevertheless, alternative punishment should not be ignored.