On November 10, the Symposium launched with an audience of participants and supporters from North America and Asia. John Kamm spoke about Dui Hua’s history of expert exchanges and the need to pay greater attention to the crisis of girls in conflict with the law. Anna Wu, honorary fellow and professor at the University of Hong Kong, discussed how the relationship between juveniles and law enforcement in Hong Kong has changed in recent years, including during the 2019 protests. Patricia Lee of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office presented on the impending closure of San Francisco’s juvenile hall.

Here are some of the key takeaways from this event:

“We’re used to hearing about various crises. We have the refugee crisis, the climate crisis, crises around the world in different hotspots, but we almost never hear about this crisis, which is hiding in plain sight: the crisis of girls in conflict with the law. And that’s what we’re going to be dealing with.” – John Kamm

“It is important that we design programs which are fluid, transformative, and gender-sensitive. We do have to factor in these issues. I think we need to incorporate into the program dialogues on notions of justice and injustice, and on disparities and differences, and we need to be sensitive to the causes of conflicts. We really have to dive deep into these issues to try to restore order and to restore human relations.” – Anna Wu

“Our charge is looking at creating a smaller, home-like, nurturing house of detention for youth that need to be detained, but only those youth that need to be detained, and then reinvesting that money back into the communities, the schools, and the families, so that hopefully we reduce the impact of being in the juvenile justice system and creating alternative programs…of restorative justice and diversion.” – Patricia Lee