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Child-Friendly Translation in Judicial Processes

Adalet 1

The project is aimed to prevent the loss of the rights of refugee children in Türkiye due to language and translation difficulties in judicial processes. Children involved in judicial processes, translators, judges-prosecutors and other auxiliary judicial staff have benefited very much from the project. For the first time, the capacity of translators has been strengthened and the secondary trauma risks of children have been mimized.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

It was determined through meetings and focus group discussions that refugee children who were involved in judicial processes suffered from loss of rights due to language and translation problems, that translators were inadequate due to differences in accents, or that they were not adequately equipped to approach children.

In order to protect children's rights, facilitate access to justice and improve the quality of the judicial processes, 11 pilot courthouses that are in intense contact with refugees were determined and a needs analysis study was conducted by organizing study visits to these locations. In this way, the problems faced by translators, their needs and training inadequacies were determined.

Subjects were determined according to the needs analysis; judicial system, juvenile justice system, legal terminology, the roles and responsibilities of interpreters in criminal procedure, the principles of interpreting and professional ethics, the developmental characteristics of children and adolescents according to age, the effects of traumatic experiences on children and the reflections of these effects on the judicial process, general principles of forensic interviews with children, training materials on the principles of victim approach, the characteristics of being a child-sensitive justice worker, and interview steps and points to be considered.

This was prepared by the Ministry of Justice, Department of Education, UNICEF and COKMED (The Association of Child Protection Centres), and the training activities were carried out for 142 translators with a rich aspect including applications. The hearing and forensic interview processes were animated with role playing and the emotions and transfers of the translators working with fragile and traumatized people were studied with psychodrama method. Training activities and training results that lasted for 2.5 days were evaluated and the missing parts were developed.

With this innovation, the language barrier has been removed and the loss of rights that are difficult to compensate has been prevented. Only translators who received training were appointed by the Expertise Department. Ethical problems encountered during the execution of the task have been avoided. A Legal Dictionary for translators has been developed and published. In addition, a short film was shot for the translators to benefit from.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

In the training of translators, it was ensured that legal terminology was learned on issues such as the approach to children, and that they were judged correctly with the correct translation. It differs from the work of other institutions in terms of the fact that translators have not been trained within the scope of judicial processes previously and with the absence of a legal dictionary.

What is the current status of your innovation?

Innovation activities were completed within the scope of the project. The lists of translators trained at this stage are available in the Expertise Department and assignments are provided here. Translators who take part in processes that require translation use the Legal Dictionary actively, so terminology errors are not observed. Although the project has been completed, its sustainability and impacts continue.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

MoJ- Department of Training, UNICEF and ÇOKMED worked together to increase knowledge, awareness and capacity. Translators, lawyers, experts, forensic interviewers, and psychiatrists all took part in the training process. It was handled with a holistic approach for all components of the judicial process, with an interdisciplinary structure that includes all team members involved. ÇOKMED took part in preparation of training materials and training process. A short film was shot by UNICEF.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

Ministry of Justice- Department of Training provides training for translators with principles and ethics. UNICEF and ÇOKMED contributed to ensuring the best interests of children who come into contact with the judicial process. The dictionary that was created contributes to speed and efficiency. By learning the principles of working with children who are considered sensitive and fragile, and with the right approaches, they are ensured to exist in the process without being traumatized.

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

Need analysis was conducted in 11 courthouses to determine the training subjects and 6 training modules were created. 142 translators were trained for 2.5 days.

The law dictionary that was created was used as a reliable source. To observe the correct practices, a short film was also shot. Monitoring-evaluation studies were interrupted by the pandemic but, it is planned to be restarted in the near future. The results of the pre-post test results show that the participants benefited from training (the average success level reached by statistical data analysis of 5 trainings is 95%).

End-of-training questionnaires show the averages out of 5;

  • Achieving the purpose 4.7
  • Content suitability 4.8
  • Methods and techniques 4.8
  • Notes and visual materials 4.8
  • Tutorials 4.9
  • Ability to use what is learned in training in the workplace 4.9

Challenges and Failures

Within the scope of this project, there were difficulties in accessing translators at the beginning (determining a date when each translator is suitable for training, volunteering for training, etc.), but these problems were eliminated with the workshops and effective information, and the process was completed without any problems.

Conditions for Success

Human and financial resources and personal values and motivation will provide more qualified trainings.


The outputs and results of the project are still used by the translators who take part in the cases that require translation within the body of the Ministry of Justice.

In order to ensure the continuity of the project in the future, our Presidency aims to gather information by conducting focus group meetings with people who work in cases requiring translation. According to the results to be obtained from this, new studies will be directed in order to determine new training subjects, to identify deficiencies, and to ensure that new translators receive training.

Lessons Learned

Increasing the professional qualifications and equipment of each person who takes part in the judicial processes is valuable as it will prevent the loss of rights. It will be more beneficial if such a project is not limited to children only and generalized to include other vulnerable groups such as women, the disabled and the elderly.


  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

Innovation provided by:


Date Published:

27 January 2023

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