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Justice in Action
May 12, 2021

Justice in Action has been the pro bono component of the Children's Rights Summit every year, encouraging our CRS community to engage in pro bono work in the areas that are discussed and debated. This year, with pro bono work being all the more vital to our communities, our Justice in Action activity will be a VIRTUAL day of activities that allow anyone to volunteer and do some key pro bono child rights work in different settings.

The event is hosted via Zoom on May 12, 2021, and all pro bono volunteers are welcome to join. At the Sprint, we will tackle issues including projects related to race, mental health, justice crossing borders, and child welfare. Volunteers will be trained at the start of the day and then divided into small teams to work on specific assignments. See below for projects.

Projects

LGBTQ+ Youth Advocacy: Mapping Non-Discrimination Laws Across the Country
By some estimates, over 1/3 of all homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+. These young people struggle to get resources and information, including help on key legal questions. To that end, we are working with Lambda Legal to develop a map capturing key legal issues and non-discrimination protections in state law or agency police for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. This map will be one in a broader series of key maps providing information about legal protections for LGBTQ+ youth. Participants will be broken into teams to work together in research answers to pre-framed questions. Teams will be assigned on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis.

Real Rights: A City-By-City Guide for Youth Interacting with Police
In this time of a racial justice awakening in the US and around the world, we are aiming to create city-specific guides for interactions with police. Our goal is for youth in contact with law enforcement to have a clear handle on what the law says the police can and cannot do and what young people must do to assert their own rights. It will include consideration of state, federal and even municipal/local laws. Participants will be broken into teams by jurisdiction to complete a template for the Real Rights tool. (If you choose Real Rights, please let us know if you'd prefer to work on a US or non-US jurisdiction.)

Detained for therapy? Is That Legal? Children Deprived of Liberty for Mental Health Services?
Mental health landscape in for children in the US is an uneven terrain of hospitals, system-dependent services, limited access for poor and vulnerable populations and children of color. Connected to that, there are gaps in services for children with mental disabilities in education and children of color, further exacerbated when they are in the juvenile justice child welfare systems. Amid all of that, are children whose needs are so extreme that a state allows them to be detained against their will to give them services. Then what? What rights do they have? Do they get counsel? Can they advocate to be released or shorten their detention? Who is in control of those decisions?

We will be answering basic questions about what are the rights of children in detention due to mental health in select STATES and COUNTIES based on the interested and volunteers! Join us!

For questions, please contact probono@bakermckenzie.com