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Manual on Child-Friendly Practices Launched

Sector officials and other stakeholders at the launch of the manual (PHOTO: DPP) Sector officials and other stakeholders at the launch of the manual (PHOTO: DPP)

 

The Government of Uganda and UNICEF earlier today launched a child-friendly justice handbook to guide  prosecutors and other actors in the criminal justice system,  in handling child-related  cases in a child-friendly and gender responsive manner. The handbook is produced by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with technical and financial support from UNICEF as well as financial support from the Justice, Law and Order Sector. The UK government provided financial support to the process through UNICEF. The handbook will be used by prosecutors and other state as well as non-state actors and institutions in the criminal justice system.

“The handbook is an excellent guide in improving the delivery of justice to children, strengthening child protection structures and helping build a protective environment for children. It will subsequently lead to the rehabilitation and reintegration of children in conflict with the law,” says Mike Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

According to the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) Annual Report 2013, there were 1,256 juvenile offenders in the year 2011-12. In 2012, the Uganda Police Force arrested an average of six juveniles per 100,000 of the child population.

More often than not, prior to sentencing, child offenders are held with adults, due to lack of separate holding facilities at police stations, which increases the risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. The conditions of detention are sometimes sub-standard, overcrowded and deny children their rights, such as the right to legal representation, parental access, and appropriate standards of health. Detention rarely results in the child’s reintegration and the child assuming a constructive role in society, which should be the objective of any justice intervention in line with the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).

 

In addition, children’s cases are often processed through justice systems designed for adults that are not adapted to children’s rights and specific needs. 

 

Source: www.dpp.go.ug | Published: April 27, 2016