IAYFJM Congresses

The international congresses are a significant part of the work of IAYFJM. They take place every four years and are an opportunity for exchanges between people from all over the world who are engaged in child or family protection to discuss matters falling within the jurisdiction of the Family Courts or Youth Courts.

The subjects of these congresses reflect not only the full range of professional issues, but also social and political current developments, impacts on child protection and juvenile and family justice.

It was only after the 5th Congress (Brussels, 1958) that IAYFJM adopted a a topic of general world wide interest. Previously, several different matters were addressed, as you will see in the following description.


1st Congress

(Brussels, Belgium, 26-29 July 1930)

Children before the courts

National and international perspectives on youth courts versus child protection


2nd Congress

(Brussels, Belgium, 15-17 July 1935)

The effects of the economic crisis and unemployment on childhood and adolescence

Scope for a police force specialising in children

Looking after children from abroad

Supporting services for children’s courts


3rd Congress

(Liège, Belgium, 17-20 July 1950)

Organisations aiming to understand the conflicts between children and society and between children and their environment

Main aspects of the problem of socially mal-adapted children

Youth justice - Training and specialization of youth court judges and magistrates; - cooperation with the court’s supporting services


4th Congress

 (Brussels, Belgium, 16-19 July 1954)

Child law (general issues)

Interventions justified y the relationship between parent and child

The child and society

Youth protection


5th Congress

(Brussels, Belgium, 14-18 July 1958)

General subject: Social and educational action by the courts for young people


6th Congress

(Naples, Italy, 26-29 September 1962)

General subject: Training an support for youth judges and magistrates


7th Congress

(Paris, France, 18-23 July 1966)

General subject: The judge or magistrate, the child and the community


8th Congress

(Brussels, Belgium, July 1970)

General subject: The magistrate, the child, the family, the community


9th Congress

(Oxford, England, July 1974)

General subject: Youth justice in a changing world


10th Congress

(Montreal, Canada, July 21, 1978)

General subject: Justice and environmental pressures on youth and family


11th Congress

(Amsterdam, The Netherlands, August 1982)

General subject: Justice for youth and family in a social context


12th Congress

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 24 to 29, 1986)

General subject: The child separated from his family


13th Congress

(Turin, Italy, 16 to 21 September 1990,)

General theme: New kinds of families


14th Congress

(Bremen, Germany, 28 August to 2 September 1994)

General subject: Young offenders and their families - the human rights issues


15th Congress

(Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 2 to 6, 1998)

General subject: Young people and social change—new challenges for justice, politics and society


16th Congress

(Melbourne, Australia, from 26 to 31 October 2002)

General subject: Forging the links


17th Congress

(Belfast, Northern Ireland, 27 August to 1 September, 2006)

General subject: Putting the pieces together again


18th Congress

(Hammamet, Tunisia, from 21 to 24 April 2010)

General subject: United in Diversity