A two day National Conference on Juvenile Justice, Child Rights Act 2007 its implementation and practical approach started yesterday at the Santanno House, Howe Street.
The National Conference which is supported by Cordaid attracted the participation of Child Rights advocates, Magistrates and donors to chart the way forward for the protection of juvenile justice in the country.
Chairing the conference, Principal Magistrate of Court No1, Bankole Shyllon called on all stakeholders to be holding a conference to know what is lacking so as to grapple with the issue of child advocacy and protection. He said it will be ensure that basic facilities should be provided for the children in conflict with the law who are in custody.
Momoh F. Turay, Chairman Defence for Children International (DCI) said his organization came in to existence in 1998 and since then it has been one of those that have kept to the fulfillment in promoting juvenile justice in the country. He also said the major basis of DCI for the development of peaceful and prosperous society is the care and proper upbringing of the child, seeks to promote, monitor and protect the rights and welfare of children by disseminating information of child rights.
DCI also advocates for the protection, access to justice and rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law and child victims of human rights abuse and neglect. Their fundamental objective is striving to transform all children in to useful and productive citizens.
The Principal Social Welfare Development officer in the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, Patrick Bangura said they were charged with the responsibility of providing services for the children in conflict with the law but cited challenges as lack of finance and human resource impeding their effectiveness in executing their functions. He however said the Ministry is putting up plans to establish juvenile structures at community levels.