Child investigative interviews in Lithuania: problems and perspectives

Ilona Čėsnienė, Neringa Grigutytė

Abstract


Until the end of last century Lithuania was the only Baltic country that did not have child interview room. Social service practitioners, though acknowledging all the merits of an interview room, questioned the possibility of building an interview room for children in Lithuania at all because of poor funding, Criminal laws of Lithuanian Republic and unwillingness of officers and other specialists to collaborate. There are two child interview rooms in Lithuania at present. An interview room at NGO “Child house” in Vilnius is mainly designed to conduct investigative interviews in child sexual abuse cases. While conducting investigative interviews differs greatly in child interview room and police office or courtroom, there are still some problems in child sexual abuse investigative interviews.
The purpose of this article is to present the most current problems in Lithuania. We will focus on problems such as recording the testimony, cross-examination, interviewing the child in a presence of a suspect and negative attitudes of police officers towards child-witnesses. The implications for the Criminal Justice system are discussed.

Keywords


children; investigative interviews; evidence; sexual abuse

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789