Supporting children in need of language assistance

A new website is developed for legal professionals, dedicated to providing the most relevant information and bibliographical references about interpreter-mediated legal proceedings with children. A set of child-friendly materials on criminal and asylum proceedings is also published. The www.chills-research.eu website draws from the studies of an international project consortium, in which Hintalovon participated. The ChiLLS project aimed to increase protection and support for highly vulnerable children in need of legal and linguistic assistance.

Children are vulnerable because of their age. That vulnerability becomes more pronounced when they are involved in legal proceedings the language of which they are unable to speak. At the same time, children have the right to participate and should thus be seen as beings with agency. ChiLLS has explored this complex dynamic by interviewing children who have been involved in legal proceedings in which they needed to participate via an interpreter. With the insights gained, project partners developed materials that seek to inform both children and professionals about how those children’s rights can be better protected, respected and fulfilled.

The new website was launched on the final conference of the ChiLLS project, which took place on 19-20 October 2020. The project was carried out with child participation, Hintalovon Child Rights Ambassadors contributed in the project from beginning to the final conference.

Resources

The website shares newly developed resources and collects the relevant bibliography to help legal professionals understand the specific dynamics of interpreter-mediated interviews with minors and recommended ways to prepare for such interviews.

On the forum, legal professionals can get in touch with each other and share their questions, ideas or any cases that they would like to receive input from other professionals.

The child-friendly materials can support legal professionals in helping children understand what will happen to them, whom they will meet, and what should and should not be done by these people or authorities.

The ChiLLS project was funded by the DG Justice of the European Union Commission (JUST-JACC-AG-2017).

Image from here.