A critical evaluation of Juvenile Access to Justice in Zambia
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The paper set out to evaluate juvenile access to justice in Zambia seeing that the juvenile justice system is beset by theoretical and practical problems. In order to achieve this, research and interviews were conducted with people who work in institutions mandated with the responsibilty of handling juveniles. It was discovered that the situation relating to juveniles was very poor in that many children are arrested for petty offences that could have been dealt with outside the criminal justice system. Secondly, few children appear with legal representation and little effort is made to obtain such. Further, law enforcement officers do not receive appropriate training to equip them to deal with children who come into conflict with the law and lastly when detained, children are not separated from adults but kept in an environment that expose them to a high risk of contracting HIV/ADDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), tuberculosis (TB), and other transmittable diseases. Hence in order for juveniles to access justice there is need for mechanisms to be in place to help realize their rights such as a review of laws relating to juveniles, training police officers on how to handle juveniles and lastly, introducing diversion programmes as an alternative means to reformatory schools.
- Law