Child friendly Court in Zanzibar. Press Release

To end the violence against children and to enable children who are to witness against their perpetrators, a Child-Friendly Court has just been launched by the Government of Zanzibar with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Save the Children. This is a big step forward to help children and other vulnerable witnesses who are required to testify in court in cases of child abuse. This Court, the first of its kind in Zanzibar, symbolizes an intensification of the work for children’s’ rights and is expected to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of the Child Act n.6 of 2011. A national study on violence against children undertaken in Zanzibar showed that children in all ages are under the risk of violence, abuse and exploitation at home, at school and in the communities. Based on the findings of the study, the Government of Zanzibar, together with their partners, decided to increase the efforts to end the violence. In addition to the Child-Friendly Court, a number of actions have been taken, such as the establishment of a child protection unit in the Department of Social Welfare, the development of national child protection policies and guidelines, the establishment of One Stop Centers at different hospitals, Children and Gender desks in police stations, and the development and implementation of legislation to better promote and protect the rights and interests of children in Zanzibar. Despite this comprehensive system put in place, only a few cases of violence against children have actually been prosecuted. One of the reasons is the lack of evidence as children are intimidated when witnessing in front of the presumed perpetrator or other people. The Child-Friendly Court ensures that children are not forced to witness in public but via a TV link. They are heard by trained judges and in the presence of very few people that can include a social worker and people that the child can trust such as family members. It is hoped that with the establishment of the Child Friendly Court, the process to bring justice will be shorter, which will increase the trust of the community in the justice system and break the silence around cases of violence against children.

Published 2013-02-14

Document Information

Publication year
2013
Format
pdf, 8p.
Creative Commons License
None
Region
East Africa
Country
Tanzania

Document Information

Publication year
2013
Format
pdf, 8p.
Creative Commons License
None
Region
East Africa
Country
Tanzania