General Comment No. 10 was drafted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in February 2007. The document addresses the specific obligations of States Parties under Articles 37 (children deprived of their liberty) and 40 (administration of juvenile justice) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and is an important tool in both understanding these obligations, and in promoting their implementation by governments.
In 2007, DCI was invited by the Committee on the Rights of the Child to develop a follow-up project to General Comment No.10, with the goal of making it widely known, understood and used by States Parties and other actors. DCI began this work in 2007-2008, with the launch of Phase I of the project.
The overall objective of the project was to promote the implementation by States Parties of relevant articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child related to Juvenile Justice, in particular Articles 37 and 40 through awareness-raising, advocacy and lobby and capacity building and training.
Activities were launched at international level and nationally with 8 DCI national sections in 2008, including Albania, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
Activities at the national level included: awareness raising, advocacy, information dissemination, training and capacity building, with a view to widening the reach of technical support and assistance to State authorities and other justice professionals.
Some sample activities conducted by DCI national sections included:
- DCI-Uganda organised a workshop for children at the Naguru Remand Home, bringing together 168 children to raise awareness about the rights of children in conflict with the law, as well as their responsibilities in order to access justice. During the second part of the workshop, there was a specific focus on the root causes of juvenile delinquency, its consequences, and prevention.
- DCI-Albania organised 8 meetings with juvenile justice professionals and authorities. The meetings took place in public institutions and prisons. The purpose of the meetings was to raise awareness about General Comment No.10 and review the gaps in existing policy and legislation in Albania.
- DCI-Costa Rica held a workshop with 43 teenagers to address the issue of violence and crime in schools. The design of the workshop encouraged the active participation of adolescents, through the expression of views and assessments about the conditions in which violence occurs and the best ways to prevent it.
- DCI-Sierra Leone produced and distributed a reader-friendly brochure which illustrated each theme of General Comment No.10 in relation to Sierra Leonean laws and their implementation in practice. The brochure was distributed widely to government officials, civil society, journalists, police and children.
Activities at the international level included:
- Production of 7 Fact Sheets on different themes in General Comment No.10
- Production of an Advocacy Strategies Training Manual about juvenile justice (Click here to download the report in English)
- Organisation of a pilot training with the Advocacy Manual
- Hosting of a Panel Discussion on General Comment No.10
- Lobby and advocacy work with the UN Human Rights Council and other international mechanisms
With the activities of Phase I drawing to a close, DCI is now fundraising for the launch of Phase II of the project with the continued participation of pilot sections from Phase I and the new participation of 8 more DCI national sections.
This second Phase will be a natural progression from Phase I, involving renewed and intensified awareness-raising and advocacy at the international level as well as direct training and knowledge transfer with DCI national sections. Moreover, it will allow DCI the opportunity to respond and adapt to some of the recommendations and lessons learnt from Phase I of the project.
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