About ACJ Zambia
Advocacy for Child Justice (ACJ) is a Non-Government Organization that uses an issue-based approach to advocate for the rights and best interests of children who come into contact with the law, whether as offenders, victims or witnesses. The Organization holds its Secretariat at its head office in Lusaka, Zambia and has so far operated in several Districts in Lusaka, Copperbelt, Luapula, Eastern, Muchinga, Northern and Central Provinces of Zambia through various Projects
ACJ was originally founded in 2002 as Advocacy for Juvenile Justice (AJJ), established in May of 2004 and registered later that year in November. AJJ became fully operational in 2009, working as a national NGO advocating for the rights of children who come into conflict with the Zambian law. AJJ was founded in response to the increasing injustices against children and gaps identified in the fight for their rights in the Juvenile Justice system. Its establishment and registration was seconded by the then Child Justice Forum (CJF) leadership, whose formation was AJJ’s brain child and now sits under Judiciary. AJJ underwent a name change to Advocacy for Child Justice (ACJ), in 2014 to reflect the legislative changes happening in Zambia. These legislative changes labeled all those under the age of 18 as ‘children’ instead of juveniles. Hence the name change.
Vision: A Zambian society free from all forms of child injustice and that provides equal opportunities for children to achieve their desired goals and aspirations.
Misison: To alleviate all forms of child injustice through pioneering and contributing to improved standards in the administration of child justice such as provision of legal aid services and social development programs at community and national level.
Philosophy: ACJ believes that creating a community that is adequately knowledgeable about children’s rights and is well sensitized about different forms of children’s rights violations is best prepared to care for and protect children.
Core Values: In order to achieve the aforesaid vision, mission and objectives, ACJ shall be anchored on ten core values namely:
- Mutual Respect
- Team Work
A Word from our Director
When Zambia ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, the nation made a promise to its children. Zambia’s promise stated that they would do everything in their power to protect and promote their rights to survival, to learn and grow, and to allow their voices to be heard in order to reach their full potential through quality development.
Advocacy for Child Justice works to maintain this promise by consistently advocating for children and providing them with opportunities to strive. Children are considered among a vulnerable population because they do not have a strong voice within society. ACJ advocates for children by speaking out in favor of them as they seek enforcement of their most basic human rights. Children are not to be considered less than, or less important because of their biological age or maturity.
– Josphat Njobvu
Four Core Guiding Principles in dealing with Juvenile Justice::
- Devotion to the best interest of the child
- Right to life, survival and development
- Respect for the views of the child