Ministry of Justice says that it is preparing proposals on humanizing the penal system, especially for minors


During a meeting on 27 February with Jeremy Hartley, UNICEF’s Representative in Ukraine, the Minister of Justice Oleksandr Lavrynovych stated that his Ministry was preparing proposals designed at humanizing the penal system and developing juvenile justice in Ukraine.  He said that Ukraine wanted to cease being a European “leader” in the number of people imprisoned, in particular the number of underage prisoners.

The Minister said that on 1 March the Cabinet of Ministers would be looking at legislative initiatives aimed at humanizing criminal legislation, including decriminalization of such actions, as well as introducing a new approach to choosing the measure of punishment. One of the elements here, he added, would be making punishments for minors less severe.

“With regard to punishments served by minors, the government plans to move away from a concept which is used for adults. Ukraine wants to move as far as possible from the principle of criminal punishment to that of restorative justice – restoration of the rights of victims by the offenders”, the Minister stated.

Jeremy Hartley stressed that in 2007 Ukraine is due to present to the UN the third and fourth National Reports on Implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Ukraine. The report is a component of Ukraine’s preparation for the UN’s special session on the interests of children which is to take place in September this year. The reports from all parties to the Convention will be the basis for the report of the UN Secretary General on children’s rights all over the world.

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