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CJN Child-Friendly Justice Terminology Guideline

The Child Justice Network developed this Child-Friendly Justice Terminology Guideline to promote the wider use and proper understanding of child-friendly terms in relation to child justice, based on international and Cambodian laws and standards. This guideline is meant to assist the work of the network’s members and partners, including civil society organizations, UN agencies, lawyers, service providers, justice system actors, news agencies, and translators/interpreters, among other relevant stakeholders. 

The use of appropriate and consistent terminology based on a common understanding is important given the extensive implications of framing, stereotyping, and labeling for children in contact with the law, as well as for their families and the communities. The rights of all children must be respected, and states must implement the principles of child justice as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child in a non-discriminatory manner that promotes the child’s sense of dignity and worth and that is guided by their best interests. Terminology plays a strong role in this process. 

This guideline is available in both English and Khmer, but the two versions are not identical, as the Khmer version has been adapted to the local context and language. The guideline is divided into two sections:


  1. Preferred Terminology: The terms to use and to avoid when referring to children, structures, and procedures in relation to child justice.

  2. Terminology Definitions: Brief explanations of key terms used in the child justice sector.

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