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Print this pageAFRICA: Achieving Child-Friendly Justice in Africa




The African Child Policy Forum

Resource type:

Paper (general)


African Child Policy Forum, Defence for Children International, Centre for Child Law


This publication is one of the outputs from the Global Conference on Child Justice in Africa, organised by the African Child Policy forum (ACPf) and Defence for Children International (DCI), which was held in Kampala, Uganda in November 2011. The publication is a study on children and the justice system.

Web link

PDF document Friendly Justice-English.pdf

The situations in which children are involved in the justice system are categorised in four broad categories namely, the criminal justice system (when in conflict with the law or as victims and witnesses), the civil justice system (such as when in need of care, protection, 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 care and protection system), and in the customary/traditional courts or informal alternatives. The study therefore provides information on law reform, case law and good practices on children in the justice system, from a range of African countries.

Furthermore, discussion of fundamental principles (such as the best interests of the child, dignity, nondiscrimination and the rule of law), and general elements of a child-friendly justice system consisting of information and advice, protection of privacy, special preventive measures, training of professionals, and so on, as envisaged under a variety of international and regional instruments that deal with children in the justice system is incorporated into this study to help as a benchmark to evaluate the situation in Africa.

The standards for child-friendly justice before, during and after judicial proceedings are also examined as provided for in these instruments, to highlight core concerns in relation to child justice systems in the continent. Thus, by providing a contextual analysis of the child-friendliness of the legal systems in various African countries by citing relevant instances from legal provisions, case law, and practical examples, this report provides substantive information which will be a useful tool for advocacy, research and practical implementation of the laws, policies and standards for dealing with children in the justice system.

Further Information:

Previous Paper (general) items

Organisation Contact Details:

The African Child Policy Forum
P.O. Box 1179
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel: +251-11-6628192/96/97/99

Last updated 06/08/2012 20:06:01

Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.

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