An assessment of the Zambian Juveniles Act: Does it entrench the protection of the rights of the child?

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Chisanga, Sharon Bwalya-Mumamba
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The Juveniles Act is the principal legislation with regards to juvenile matters. The Act was enacted to make provision for the custody and protection of juveniles and to provide correction for juvenile delinquents. Its provisions do state the above but its application as will be highlighted, is questionable. Although the contents of the Act show the protection of children's rights in judicial proceedings, it does not fully comply with all the goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Moreover, the convention has not been domesticated meaning that it does not hold authority or enforcement in Zambia The introduction of the Child Justice Forum has so far proved to be the unsurpassed attempt to merge the provisions of the Convention and other international instruments on juvenile justice and the Juveniles Act. The forum, however, still needs to be reinforced because it is insufficient to act as law. The Child Justice Act of South Africa, on the other hand, provides better protection for the rights of the child and conforms to the standards accepted by the United Nations. It therefore, serves as the best model for the changes required in our statute, the Juveniles Act, because it covers virtually every aspect in relation to the plight of juveniles
Children's rights--Zambia , Juvenile Courts--Zambia