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By Abdul Manaff Kemokai- DCI Sierra Leone.  Background  Legal framework- international, regional and national  Alternatives to detention  Laws vs.

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Presentation on theme: "By Abdul Manaff Kemokai- DCI Sierra Leone.  Background  Legal framework- international, regional and national  Alternatives to detention  Laws vs."— Presentation transcript:

1 By Abdul Manaff Kemokai- DCI Sierra Leone

2  Background  Legal framework- international, regional and national  Alternatives to detention  Laws vs common practices  Implication  Child friendly justice- elements  Conclusion and recommendations

3  A worldwide movement for Children’s Rights  Founded in 1979  Has 40 sections worldwide  Contributed to the drafting of the UNCRC  Has consultative status with ECOSOC  Mainly focus on Juvenile Justice and violence against children at international level

4  Over one million boys and girls are behind bars worldwide, too often in horrific, degrading, overcrowded and violent conditions  According to UNICEF and UNODC, Millions of children spend substantial periods of their lives under the control and supervision of care institutions or justice system  Include offenders, asylum seekers, children with their mothers, status offenders, child soldiers & others  At risk of violence from staff and officials

5 The UNCRC, ACRWC and Beijing Rules emphasized the following:  Deprivation of liberty- a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time  Institutionalization be avoided to the greatest extent possible  Children should be held separately from adults given account of their age  Absence of residence status not a justification for detention of asylum seekers, separated children, refugees etc.

6  Should not lead to cessation of any other rights e.g access to education, food, contact with family, health care, leisure and recreation  Special attention be given to personal needs and problems especially for girls, and children with disability  Girls and children with disability shall by no means receive less care, protection, assistance, treatment, training than boys

7  Best interest  Participation  Access to information and advice  Protection including privacy  Non-discrimination

8  Most countries have ratified the UNCRC and ACRWC and attempted to upgrade their legislations to be in line with UNCRC and ACRWC  Prohibiting detention, (except as last resort and for the shortest possible period) appears to be a norm in most African States  Principle applies to both pre-trial and post trial detentions

9  Some countries e.g Uganda, have further limited the period of detention: Sec 91(5) of the Children’s Act states that “ a child may not be remanded for more than 6 months in case of an offence punishable by death and for not more than 3 months in case of other offences”  Similar provisions can be found in other children’s legislations from Ghana, Tanzania, Sumaliland, Kenya etc

10  Most national legislations make provision for alternatives to detention including bail, conditional release, on his/her own recognizance  Some have also provided for remand in other type of dwellings (e.g South Africa, Zambia and Sierra Leone)  Proviso such as- “release will defeat the end of justice” ; “ remove the child from undesirable circumstances” ( e.g in Malawi and Sierra Leone) undermine limitations of deprivation of liberty

11 Laws not generally adequately implemented because:  Structures and personnel very limited  Inclined to focus more on legal proceedings with little attention to social support  Orientation of formal justice system is largely retributive and deprivation of liberty is often the ultimate goal  Lack of mechanisms and clear procedures to use alternatives to detention  Age verification often a challenge  Child protection units within the police not sufficiently utilized

12  Most children on trial are still in detention in many countries  Children still held for excessive long period of time often in contravention with the very local/national legislations  Delay in trial- sometimes children forgotten or abandoned in the system  Many children still missed out on access to other important rights e.g education- threat to MDG  Platform for recruitment of many future criminals

13  Takes into account special care and needs of children in contact with the law (offenders, victims and witnesses  Strategies to adapt a legal proceeding to the particular circumstances of the child  Takes into account socio-cultural traditions and legal system of the state  The legal system is able to positively shape children’s live

14  Prevent additional trauma for children  Empowers children to enforce their rights  Multidisciplinary approach  Training of professionals  Provision and access to legal assistance for all children

15  Child friendly legislation should have provisions for full enjoyment of legal rights and clear procedures  Well developed mechanisms for alternatives to detention, diversion and social support for rehabilitation and reintegration  Responsible structures should be adequate and well resourced  Child friendly detention facilities should have educational and integrated programmes  Enforce rule of law

16  Monitoring and Accountability mechanisms for law enforcement officials, professionals and traditional rulers that administer justice for children  Effective linkage between the formal and informal/traditional justice systems  Strengthen child protection units within the police  Compulsory, affordable and accessible birth registration- including mainstreaming of comprehensive guidelines for age verification at every institution

17  Thank you for your attention

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