A three-day conference discussing issues surrounding the use of child witnesses has opened in Edinburgh.
Delegates will discuss how to help child witnesses
About 100 experts have gathered for the conference, which has been organised by the University of Dundee.
Opening the event, Elish Angiolini QC, the Solicitor General for Scotland, said children should find giving evidence less intimidating.
In July, a CD-Rom was launched to help young people in Scotland prepare for giving evidence in court.
It features scenes filmed in court with a real sheriff, outlining procedures such as giving evidence by video-link or from behind a screen.
Mrs Angiolini said child witnesses must be helped to overcome their fears.
"Giving evidence is a crucial element of the criminal justice process, but can be a very difficult experience, especially for young and vulnerable witnesses," she said.
"Clearly children and young people will have their own particular concerns about the experience and we owe it to them to ensure that we have the best skills and that we do what we can to make the whole experience less intimidating.
"This conference provides an excellent opportunity to share best practice and learn from colleagues in other countries."
Keynote speakers at the conference include Lucy Berliner, director of the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress in Seattle.
Brigid Daniel, professor of childcare and protection at the University of Dundee, said the conference offered delegates the chance to become better listeners.
"There is great value in professionals from different areas in law and social work working together and being trained together in a complementary fashion," she said.
"Children must be offered a sensitive and supportive environment in which to recount their traumatic experiences.
"Our aim is to improve the protection of children by ensuring that professionals work together effectively and offer children the opportunity to be listened to."