Child Victims and Restorative Justice: A Needs-Rights Model

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Children are at increased risk of becoming a victim of crime. Too frequently, children become victims of theft, burglary, violence, sexual assault, abuse, bullying and domestic violence. Yet current criminal justice systems are not designed to assist them in their struggle to overcome their victimization. Restorative justice, an alternative approach to justice which brings victims and offenders together to find their own ways to restore the harm, has a lot to offer for young victims. But there are many risks in a face-to-face encounter between a child victim and an older offender. This book establishes an integrated needs-rights perspective to look at these issues. The human rights of child victims are those stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most consensual treaty ever accepted by the UN. The needs of child victims are those based on many empirical studies and theories developed in the psycho-social literature. Together, they create a detailed template that uncovers the shortcomings of the criminal justice system in addressing the needs-rights of child victims, and provide guidance as to how to practice restorative justice in cases of childhood victimization in a child-inclusive manner. Among the central findings of the book are the importance of participation and control, sense of fairness, apology, and acknowledgment of harm for child victims. Eight heuristics provide starting points for the development of safe, child-inclusive and respectful restorative justice programs addressing childhood victimization.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)9780199897476
ISBN (Print)9780199744718
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press, Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.


  • Child abuse
  • Child victims
  • Childhood victimization
  • Children's needs
  • Children's rights
  • Family group conferences
  • Restorative justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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