Summary: 1. Introduction. – 2. The First Working Group Discussions on Juvenile Justice. – 3. Dividing the Article into Two Sections: Treatment in Penal Matters and Torture/Capital Punishment. – 4. Conclusions.
The rights of the child have always been a focus of international organisations, including the United Nations. This is evidenced by the fact that in 1979 the UN Commission on Human Rights established a Working Group to draft a convention on the rights of the child, which from 1979 to 1989 worked on establishing a universal treaty for children around the world. Among other articles, members of the Working Group developed provisions on juvenile justice. The result of this hard work was that international standards of juvenile justice were established in Arts. 37 and 40 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The historical and legal methods were the main methods of the research, which allowed us to make a comparison of the draft texts of Arts. 37 and 40. This comparison gave us an opportunity to trace the development of thoughts of states parties about the treatment of children in penal matters and punishments for committed crimes. The paper begins by considering the draft texts of Art. 20 (which would become Arts. 37 and 40) of the Convention that were proposed for discussion. We reveal the main discussions and contradictions of the members of the Working Group. The next part describes the reason for dividing the initial article about juvenile justice into two separate parts. The final important comments and suggestions of state parties are also highlighted.
The process of adopting these articles was long and difficult, as it turned out that developing universal proposals with which all member states would agree was a complex task. Nowadays, Ukraine is trying to reform its legislation, particularly in the sphere of juvenile justice. That is why some useful recommendations for Ukrainian legislation are proposed in the concluding remarks.