Your take on juvenile offenders
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Every day thousands of children around the world get caught up in
adult formal justice systems. Children are arrested and
detained by police, tried by ordinary judges, and sent to
institutions, including prisons, under systems of justice which
in many cases are set up for adults. Children’s rights and
special needs are being ignored. These children are
alleged to have come into conflict with the law of the land;
however, no allowances are made for the fact that it is often the
treatment of the court that is in conflict with their survival
behavior and the reality of their lives.
Indisputably, one of the objectives sought to be achieved through the constitution, was the giving priority to the best interest of the child. Therefore, all actions concerning children undertaken by public and private welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the primary consideration shall be the best interests of the child. Whenever there is a matter involving a child, “the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration.” Additionally the right of access to justice is seen as the basis of the realization of getting comfortable environment for juveniles.
However, the court has had some problems such as a lack of experts, commitment or legal lacunae related to the applicability of article of the constitution. The researcher conducts the following problem mainly to the substantive inquiry that there is no policy instrument specific to the problem of juvenile offenders. Even child friendly courts have no legal basis. In fact there are international laws ratified by Ethiopia. The problem is that the court does not take it as part of domestic law. On top of that Ethiopia does not ratify the African Charter on the rights and Responsibilities of the African Child which have so many possible consequences. The decision of the court could not be certain because of lack of sufficient information as to the age of the child since there is no comprehensive birth registration system.