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Child justice in Zimbabwe
Defence for Children International - Zimbabwe
November 23, 2011

As a society, Zimbabwe has a long way to go to keep children out of the adult system.

However, recent events indicate that we are finally on the right track. The past few years have seen a growing recognition by the Government, citizens, researchers, juvenile justice professionals, and policymakers that putting children behind bars should be the last resort.

On behalf of the Defence for Children International Zimbabwe and the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Forum (NJJDPF), we are pleased to provide these recommendations addressing much needed policy and administrative advances to the President, the Prime minister and Members of Senate and the Parliament and all player involved in Juvenile Justice system of Zimbabwe . This call for action prioritizes juvenile justice system reform and urges:

  • Swift appointment of a Juvenile Justice monitoring And Delinquency Prevention Commission in Zimbabwe (JJMDPC)
  • The drafting of a Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA); and
  • Ensuring that implementation of all laws on Juvenile Justice meets the needs of detained youth.

Juvenile justice systems in Zimbabwe are in urgent need of reform. President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai, members of the Senate and Parliament must immediately appoint a strong JJMDPC Administrator, set a clear direction for Juvenile Justice reform and provide resources to all provinces to help keep our youth and communities safe. With strong bi-partisan leadership from the President, Senate and the Parliament, the Juvenile Justice reforms are possible.

We make recommendations that the Government and our courts must work hand in hand with more than 20 national organizations, including youth - and family - serving, social justice, law enforcement, corrections, and faith-based organizations, that work to ensure healthy families, build strong communities and improve public safety by promoting fair and effective policies, practices and programs for youth involved or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems around the country. The appointed the JJDPC's mission should be to engage this broad spectrum of opinion leaders and stakeholders, including the voices of those most affected by the juvenile justice system, to:

  • Advocate for sensible and safe solutions to crime and delinquency;
  • build and leverage policy leadership in the field; and
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for research and best practices within our nation's juvenile and criminal justice systems.

Visit the Defence for Children International Zimbabwe fact sheet

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