PHUKET – The 2nd meeting of the Asia-Pacific Council for Juvenile Justice (APCJJ) will contain a session designed specifically for 10 Asean nations as part of their preparation for regional integration, said Deputy Permanent Secretary for Justice Chanchao Chaiyanukit.

“We need common strategies as the regional integration involves mobility. It is possible that Thai children may be in conflict with laws in other Asean nations, or vice versa. We also need preventive measures, which require cooperation from families, educational institutes, communities and religious centres,” he said yesterday when the four-day meeting started.

An issue to be discussed is the minimum age of children liable to legal punishment, which differs from country to country in Asean. In Thailand, only children aged above 10 would stand trial, while in some countries the minimum age is 7 years old.

He added that Thai children’s No.1 conflict with law concerns drugs. Most of them are aged 15-18 years.

Experts on juvenile justice from over 70 countries gathered at the meeting.

To promote child-friendly juvenile systems which are based on international standards and norms in the Asia-Pacific region, the 4-day meeting consists of a professional development training forum as well as a forum to develop common strategies and sustainable collaboration among APCJJ participants and members. –Salinee Prab, The Nation