Magistrates undergoe Child Justice training
“The Guest of Honor, according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) a child is any person below the age of 18 and this age group comprises about 53% of Zambia’s population according to the last national census”. This was the statement made by Save the Children country Director Tamer Kirolos during a workshop for magistrates in Lusaka.
Speaking during the official opening of the training of Magistrates on justice for children at Lusaka Ndozo lodge, he said it is important to note that the majority of Zambia’s population comprises of children, and that this raises chances of them coming into contact with the law; as accused, complainants as well as witnesses.
Kirolos, pointed out that it is important for the legal system and justice players to have the knowledge and skill to handle to mitigate the situation.
“His Lordship, ladies and gentlemen, it is therefore, my hope that this training will contribute to the needed capacity by the Magistrates where child justice administration is concerned” He said.
He emphahsised that it was imperative that the knowledge and skill acquired from the training was put to practice for the benefit of children who come in contact with the law as the intended beneficiaries.
He thanked the Judiciary, UNICEF and Zambia Civic Education Association for partnering with SC to jointly support the training.He said Save the Children always looks forward to more collaboration in its quest to have a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. He said the presence of the magistrates away from their busy schedule was testimony of the level of commitment they attach to the wellbeing of children.
And Justice Mwaka Mikalile said there is need to replicate the training in other parts of the country where it hasn’t yet been implemented.“At the moment we have a lot of juveniles in our courts and this is very unfortunate” she said.
Justice mikalile said what is more important is not the addressing of the current status quo but rather addressing the root cause of the problem of juvenile offenders.The training was officially opened by chief registrar, Charles Kafunda, who commended Save the Children for the initiative.