The Netherlands // 6th World Probation Congress in The Hague

Uniting 61 nationalities over 2 days, the 6th World Probation Congress, a global event of significance, was held from the 16th to the 18th of April in The Hague. The conference, a testament to international collaboration, was organised by the Dutch probation service Reclassering Nederland.

Reclassering Nederland has been a key collaborator in numerous past and ongoing initiatives with CILC. Their joint efforts in Serbia, Montenegro, Ukraine, and Indonesia have yielded substantial outcomes, underscoring the success of their partnership.

The probation congress included opening speeches by Mpo Tutu van Furth (daughter of the late Desmond Tutu). She spoke of the vital work that probation officers do, the needs of victims and offenders, and the need for a justice system that focuses not only on judgment but also on reconciliation, healing, accountability, and recovery.

Johan Bac, director general of Reclassering Nederland, opened the conference by stating that humanity is defined by how we treat people who break the law and that probation and parole are part of human society. Following the opening, there were 2 days of workshops from representatives from around the world.

The Dutch probation service is 200 years old. It is a pillar of the Dutch justice system and is involved in every step of the criminal justice chain. This is why CILC collaborates with the Dutch probation service as an expert, which is useful for new and established probation services.

Due to the CILC project in Ukraine, “Fair, transparent, and accountable criminal justice system,” Olena Vysotska, Vice Minister of Justice together with Oleh Melnychenko, First Deputy Director of the State Institution Center of Probation, and Viktor Vasiuk, Deputy Director of the State Institution Center of Probation, were able to attend the congress and learn from peers on strengthening the probation service.

The CILC project “Peer 2 Peer 4 Justice” has organised and facilitated the bilateral relationship between the Dutch and Indonesian probation services, creating the opportunity and support for Indonesia to host the next World Probation Congress, which will take place in Bali in 2026.


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