Neglected needs: Girls in the criminal justice system

 Neglected needs: Girls in the criminal justice system is a joint briefing paper by PRI and the Inter-agency Panel on Juvenile Justice (IPJJ).


The paper examines the specific challenges faced by girls in contact with the criminal justice system and recommendations for strengthening the protection of their rights.


Girls are one of the most vulnerable groups involved in criminal justice systems because of their age, gender and small numbers. In addition, there are still wide gaps in our knowledge and understanding of offending by girls, of their specific needs whilst in detention, and of what is effective in terms of gender-sensitive rehabilitation and social reintegration measures.


This briefing explores how girls face discriminatory treatment in terms of the types of offence for which they are detained, their access to fair trial guarantees , and the lack of suitable alternatives to detention. It then looks at some of the specific challenges faced by girls in detention and the international and regional standards in place to address them focusing on:

→     protection from violence

→     access to adequate healthcare

→     provision of rehabilitation and reintegration services

→     access to effective remedy


The paper concludes PRI's series of factsheets on justice for children, with the previous instalments as follows:

→     Ten Point Plan on Fair and Effective Criminal Justice for Children

→     African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

→     Independent monitoring mechanisms for children in detention

→     Children with parents in conflict with the law

→     The minimum age of criminal responsibility

→     The right of children deprived of their liberty to make complaints


The paper also forms part of PRI's Bangkok Rules 'Toolbox for Implementation' which contains the following resources:

→     Guidance document and Index of Implementation

→     Bangkok Rules e-course

→     A short guide to the Bangkok Rules

→     Briefing: A guide to gender-sensitive monitoring

→     Briefing: Access to justice - discrimination against women in criminal justice systems


For more information on PRI visit; for further information on IPJJ visit


    Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.