Spotlighting the Invisible: Justice for Children in Africa

  • Child Justice
Pages: 173
Year of Publication: 2018
Country: Africa
‘Spotlighting the Invisible: Justice for children in Africa’ is a report by ACPF and Defence for Children International (DCI). The study updates and extends that earlier study, seeking to examine the progress that has been made, and the challenges that remain, since the 2011 conference in achieving child friendly justice in African justice systems. Given that children come in contact with justice system in different ways – through the formal and informal justice systems, in religious justice systems in some parts of the continent, and in both the criminal and civil justice systems – this study charts the continuum of experiences that children undergo in their contact with these systems. It outlines the four categories children are involved in the justice system fall into four categories: the criminal justice system (when in conflict with the law or as victims and witnesses); the civil justice system (such as when they are in need of care and protection, or during judicial review of removal or placement; in custody and access disputes; in guardianship issues; and as unaccompanied or separated foreign children); the administrative justice system (such as school disciplinary proceedings and aspects the alternative care and; and through the customary /traditional through mechanisms of justice. Using that fourfold framework and focusing on marginalised groups and their access to justice systems, this study provides information on law reform, case law and good practices with regard to children in the justice system from a range of African countries. It draws on field studies that were conducted in seven such countries (Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Tunisia) and on key informant interviews, especially with regard to southern and eastern Africa. It also provides substantive information that will serve as a useful tool for advocacy on, research into, and practical implementation of the laws, policies and standards for dealing with children in the justice system. In this regard, it brings to the fore areas of concern where improvements are required.
Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Located in: Publications

An independent, not-for-profit, Pan-African
Institute of policy research and dialogue on the African child.

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Founder Assefa Bequele, PhD

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