Experience Exchange Visit to Portugal

ARISA CHILD held an Experience Exchange Visit held in Lisbon, Portugal, on September 12th and 13th, 2023. Organised by IPS Innovative Prison Systems, the event brought together 16 partners and professionals from Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and Portugal, all committed to sharing best practices and increasing the knowledge of justice services professionals when it comes to working with young people serving sentences. The primary objective of this visit was to facilitate knowledge exchange and foster a deeper understanding of practices held in juvenile justice systems within partners’ contexts, with a specific focus on the Portuguese context.

During the first day of the visit, the participants were introduced to the comprehensive work done under the ARISA CHILD, followed by an overview of the Portuguese Juvenile Justice System Context by the host of the visit. After the introductory part of the event took place, the participants had the opportunity to visit the Navarro de Paiva Educational Centre, a pivotal institution within the Portuguese Juvenile Justice System. The Director of the institution presented an overview of the Juvenile Justice System and the activities carried out in the Educational Centre as well as the dynamics of the institution.

The second day of the event was marked by a visit to the National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and Protection of Children and Young People (CNPDPCJ). During the visit, the CNPDPCJ staff presented the System of Promotion and Protection of Children in Portugal and the objectives and activities carried out by the institution. The participants were able to learn about the specialised training programme crafted and administered by CNPDPCJ for professionals working within the Local Commissions for the Protection of Children and Young People. Following the visit to the CNPDPCJ, the participants went to the Institute for Child Support (Instituto de Apoio à Criança – IAC), which offered a unique opportunity to gain further perspectives on child and youth support in the Portuguese context.