- More than 600 children in prisons throughout Rwanda will have access to legal assistance under a new programme launched by the Ministry of Justice and supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Legal Aid Week brings together the courts, the national police and lawyers with prison officers to clear the backlog of children’s cases around the nation, as well as conduct a survey of minors and conditions in prisons, according to a news release issued by UNICEF yesterday.
“This week is an important step to realising justice for children in conflict with the law,” said Dr Joseph Foumbi, the agency’s Representative in Rwanda.
“These children have been in prison without trial and I would like to appreciate the efforts of the Government of Rwanda for inaugurating a week to ensure that the rights of these children are met,” he added.
Dr Foumbi also acknowledged the progress that has been made on the long-awaited Legal Aid Law, which has now been approved by the lower chamber of Parliament and would create a fund to cover legal aid costs associated with trying cases of vulnerable people, including children.
“However, we must also work together to ensure that there are alternative corrective measures for children in conflict with the law, other than prison,” he stated.
The UN in Rwanda is working closely with the Government and its partners to enhance juvenile justice, including through building up the capacity of police officers, lawyers and judges in this area.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.
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afrol News - Despite massive pressure to stop the prosecution of Kenya's recently elected President, Uhuru Kenyatta, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today set a new date for the trial against the state leader. Mr Kenyatta is accused of crimes against humanity.