The phenomenon of young offenders is still underestimated, although an increase in the numbers of delinquent children and their involvement in socially dangerous acts such as mass killing, terrorism, etc., is clearly visible.
Teenagers’ and young offenders’ awareness of the social danger involved in their criminal acts is often limited. Corrupting influences such as harmful media, movies, computer games and advertising facilitate the globalisation of violence.
Unfortunately, juvenile crime has increased, despite the treatment which those under age receive when committing offences.
The limited judicial responsibility of children encourages adults to exploit them in order to commit offences of greater or lesser importance, such as robbery, murder, crimes of honour and acts of terrorism.
The growing number of juvenile crimes during the last decade has been accompanied by the proliferation of major determining factors such as alcohol consumption, drugs, pornography, prostitution, etc.
The number of under-age recidivists or young adults is considerable. The under-age person is not sufficiently protected from the criminal environment of adults. The incidence of crime among young children belonging to vulnerable communities is on the rise.
The efficiency of the re-education system in penitentiaries is inadequate; in some countries prison being practically a training ground for crime.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Council of Europe should analyse the situation of young offenders in the member states, identify the specific causes and devise appropriate measures and best practices that can help to lower the rate of juvenile criminality.