Current Situation of juveniles in conflict with the law in Project Areas

Juveniles in conflict with the law

Even though the Zambian Legal framework does take into account the best interest of the child, there are still many challenges. The courts are overloaded with juvenile cases and from that it follows that the right of being tried within a reasonable lapse of time is violated. Juveniles are kept in detention during long periods of time which results in the congestion of remand facilities and general poor conditions during detention. Traditional sentences are not adjusted to the special needs of children and this can seriously damage their ability to function successfully in the society.

In Zambia, the administration of child justice is embedded in the Juveniles Act Chapter 53 (Cap 53), the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). The Juveniles’ Act does provide that where children are arrested and are in need of special care, they should be separated from adults in all instances even during transportation to court, including insuring that female officers attend to female children. There are other Acts in the Laws of Zambia that have a bearing on how administration of child Justice should be carried out and these can also apply to children e.g. The Probation of Offenders Act(Cap 93 ) which provides for the establishment of probation institutions.

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