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Wednesday, 27 April 2016 10:52

Manual on Child-Friendly Practices Launched

 

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

 

 

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In April 2016, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions launched the Handbook on ‘Prosecuting Child-Related Cases in Uganda’ with the support of UNICEF. The handbook clearly outlines the roles of prosecutors, police and other justice officials in responding to children who come in contact or in conflict with the law. 

Following the launch, the DPP held trainings for police and prosecutors on child friendly justice in Arua, Fort Portal, Gulu, Jinja, Mbarara, Masaka and Soroti. The trainings covered topics from the handbook, including the means of ensuring a child sensitive justice response through tailored interview techniques; the priority to find alternative measures to detention for children; specialised responses for survivors of sexual and gender based violence; and capacity development on the emerging area of online child protection. 

On 17 and 18 May in Arua, 21 officers from the DPP and Uganda Police Force received the training. Highlights from the sessions included the importance of children’s cases being dismissed or processed through the courts within 3 months. This linked into discussion on the necessity to strengthen the practice of diversion, whereby children who commit petty offences can be released from custody, or redirected to counselling or community service. 

On 19 and 20 May in Gulu, 16 officers from the DPP and UPF were trained. Notable discussions included the importance of medical examinations for survivors of sexual violence, and the need for sensitised coordination between all justice actors on children’s cases. 

Overall, the trainings strengthened the abilities of DPP and UPF officers in the districts to respond to cases in line with the unique needs and best interests of children. 

 

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Published: June 6, 2016

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Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:42

Statement on the death of Ms. Joan Kagezi

 

The Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) joins the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the entire country in mourning the untimely death of Ms. Joan Kagezi who was shot dead yesterday on March 30, 2015 near her home in Kiwatule, a Kampala suburb at approximately 7.00 pm. Ms. Kagezi was at the time of her death a Senior Principal State Attorney and Ag. Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions in charge of the International Crimes Section. The sector condemns, in the strongest terms this barbaric and heinous act meted on an innocent civilian, a dedicated civil servant and mother.

Ms. Kagezi was unflinching and uncompromising in her dedication to ensuring justice prevails. This was exhibited in her tireless efforts to prosecute cases relating to terrorism, war crimes, and human trafficking while at the International Crimes Division of the High Court.  The Justice, Law and Order Sector further celebrates Ms. Kagezi’s immense contribution to transitional justice policy and strategy formulation as a member of the JLOS Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG). Through this cause, Joan was relentless in ensuring the perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Uganda face the full force of the law and that justice is served to the victims. Ms Kagezi also served the sector diligently as the alternate chairperson of the Criminal Justice Working group

The assailants, through their evil act may have robbed this nation of an exceptional human being in Ms Joan Kagezi’s but her legacy and contribution to justice and the rule of law in Uganda will forever remain with us, etched in our memory and inspiring many in the fight for justice.

Our deepest condolences go to her family, especially her beautiful children in whose presence their mother was brutally murdered.  The Justice, Law and Order Sector through the relevant State Institutions will not rest until the perpetrators and masterminds of this criminal act are brought to justice.

 

DOWNLOAD this Press Statement.

 

 ISSUED BY: The JLOS Secretariat Published: March 31, 2015

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