The Pan American Congress meeresponsabilidad penalts every five years and promotes the sharing of experience and knowledge in specialized subjects among the member st

    ates of the Inter-American System, in order to establish a regional agenda for the development of the promotion and protection of children in the Americas and the Caribbean.

    Among the subjects to be addressed by the most senior authorities in child-related issues in the region during the forthcoming Congress is the liability of juveniles who have infringed the criminal law. This is a major issue on which the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IIN), as a Specialized Organization of the Organization of American States (OAS), has been working, with the purpose of making technical contributions to how the matter is addressed in the States in the region, as well as raising awareness and developing social responsibility in its regard.

    A juvenile liability system involves a number of principles, regulations, procedures, judicial and non-judicial specialized authorities and administrative bodies that intervene in the investigation and judgement of offences committed by people between the ages of 12 and 18, as stipulated by international instruments.

    The CRC has established guiding principles in relation to this, particularly in its Articles 37 and 40 (directly related to the rights of children and adolescents who are alleged to have contravened criminal law), as well as in its Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 and 39, with the purpose of generating change conducive to implementing specialized systems and legal accountability.

    During the deliberations at the Congress it is intended to underline the efforts made in relation to the application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in compliance with the recommendations of the “Joint report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children on prevention of and responses to violence against children within the juvenile justice system, 2012”.

    Based on the these recommendations and strategies, the sharing of ideas during the Congress will focus particularly on: legislative reforms, interinstitutional coordination, investigation and data and information gathering in relation to alternative and early termination measures in criminal proceedings, as well as non‐custodial penalties.

    During the various events and debates that will take place during the Congress, we shall attempt to stress the efforts made by the States, which have led to significant developments in many aspects, and have shortened the gaps that still exist between regulation and the actual extent of fulfilment of child rights in the hemisphere.