Children in detention are one of the most at-risk groups in terms of exposure to violence and ill-treatment. PRI research in Central Asia in 2014 found that significant numbers of children in conflict with the law reported being treated cruelly, badly or violently by police or closed institution staff (68 per cent in Kazakhstan said they were treated badly by the police for example).
This mid-term evaluation reports on PRI’s three-year regional programme seeking to achieve a substantial reduction in the incidence of violence against children. The project is working across three countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) on several fronts, advocating for legislative and policy change; capacity building for detention monitoring in the region; training staff of closed institutions and developing programmes and services to support children in institutions.
The evaluator found that at this mid-way point, the activities are being delivered to a high standard and short-term results have been achieved. In particular:
- In Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the period of solitary confinement permitted for children has been reduced from seven to three days, and PRI and partners are committed to working towards absolute prohibition.
- Directors of institutions in Kazakhstan are sharing knowledge from the training with their staff and have also started to form an informal peer support network among themselves.
- PRI and the Youth Human Rights Group, PRI partner in Kyrgyzstan, have established with the Ombudsman’s Office a national helpline for children in closed institutions. It was too early to evaluate its success but is regarded as a good initiative by external stakeholders interviewed. The evaluator considers that a strategy to promote and raise awareness about the helpline should be a priority.
- In Kyrgyzstan, a pilot counselling programme in the juvenile correction facility for boys has had positive results, with children demonstrating improved emotional and psychological well-being.
About this evaluation
This evaluation forms part of a series of evaluations being undertaken by PRI in an effort to test and develop methods to rigorously assess and effectively communicate the medium-to-long-term impact of PRI’s projects and programmes.
The evaluation was carried out by PRI’s Evaluation and Learning Adviser in Summer 2015 using a qualitative research methodology known as Process Tracing. Process tracing identifies target outcomes and then focuses data collection and analysis on determining the extent to which these targeted outcomes were realised and the importance of the project’s contribution to those outcomes.
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