Validity Foundation - Mental Disability Advocacy Centre

Humanising Justice: Conference and webinar series in Brussels

By Zsófia Bajnay 31st May 2022


Validity and ENIL will be hosting a three-day hybrid conference in Brussels from June 20 to 22 to focus attention on the experiences of people with disabilities in justice systems across Europe and the need for a more humane approach to justice which respects the dignity of all adults and children with disabilities.

The event brings together work that Validity and its partners have undertaken over the past two and a half years of two EU co-funded projects, and will:

  • Reflect on the urgency for de-institutionalisation, the justice implications and discuss existing practices within Europe which could support the acceleration of de-institutionalisation processes;
  • Highlight the shortcomings of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive for both children, and adults with disabilities;
  • Recommend changes to legislation and policy at the EU and national levels that would better respect the rights of people with disabilities as established in the UN CRPD, UN CRC and UN CEDAW;
  • Introduce practical tools which can be used by (criminal justice) professionals, victim support services and people with disabilities to support and improve participation in the justice system;
  • Provide an opportunity to children, and adults with disabilities, to have a say in the reforms proposed and to engage directly with (criminal justice) professionals and EU and national policy makers.

Day 1: Deinstitutionalisation and Justice seminar in the European Parliament

Seminar on the relationship between institutionalisation, justice and the rights of people with disabilities. Participants will be welcomed by Marisa Matias MEP, then Steven Allen and Ann Campbell, Co-executive Directors of Validity will introduce the topic by highlighting the urgency of deinstitutionalisation. Self-advocates from Slovenia will share their experiences of living in institutions, and Natasa Kokic from ENIL will explain why and how the European Union should stop funding institutions.

Day 2: Making justice child-friendly

The Child Friendly Justice project aims to improve criminal justice systems by making them more child-friendly to child victims and children who are suspected or accused of committing a crime. To achieve this, the project has developed a set of models of child friendly court practices, in addition to organising a series of conferences, trainings and labs. At this final international conference, the key findings from all three countries will be presented together with deliverables from the project.

Flyer for June 21 - Day 2 of the conference.


Day 3: Voices for Justice: Communicating with victims of crime with disabilities

The Voices for Justice project aims to better understand the experiences of people with disabilities who are victims of crime in seven EU countries and to examine these national findings in the context of the international legal framework and make recommendations. Based on the research, the project has developed a set of practical tools to support improved communications between victims with disabilities and professionals. The international report and practical tools will be presented and discussed at the conference.

Flyer for June 22 - Day 3 of the conference.


Full agenda is available here. We also have a one-page summary available here.

Register here to participate at Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3! Please note that additional information will be requested from in-person participants of the seminar on June 20.



Full name of the projects

Child-Friendly Justice: Developing the concept of social court practices (878552 – CFJ-DCSCP). REC-AG-2019/REC-RCHI-PROF-AG-2019-878552.

Information and Communications: Cornerstones of Justice for Victims of Crime with Disability (878604 — InfoComPWDs). JUST-AG-2019 / JUST-JACC-AG-2019.

The contents of these projects represent the views of the project partners only and are their sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

EU emblem These projects are co-funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020) and by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020).