The start of November has seen two important steps forward to help protect the rights of children in conflict or in contact with the criminal justice system.
Firstly, we are very pleased to announce the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) has adopted the first ever General Comment to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the the Child. General Comment No.1 on Children of Incarcerated Mothers / Caregivers was adopted at the 22nd Session of the ACERWC and details the practical implementations of Article 30 of the Charter. The final version of the General Comment is expected to be published in the coming weeks on the ACERWC website.
PRI is please to have been part of the advocacy efforts towards adoption of the General Comment through a paper it presented with partners at the 19th Session of the ACERWC in March this year. We are looking forward to continuing to support the Committee in disseminating and working towards the implementation of the General Comment.
Secondly, the UNODC this month has published its Model Law on Juvenile Justice, a comprehensive document designed to provide legal guidance to States in the process of juvenile justice reform and to assist them in drafting juvenile justice legislation in line with international standards. It covers issues of criminal responsibility, diversion measures, trial proceedings, proportionate sentencing, children under custodial sentence and reintegration and aftercare.
PRI was happy to be able to contribute through experts meetings and commenting on draft versions of the Model Law and will use it as an important tool for advocacy at the national level.