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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The protection of children's special rights in the criminal justice system in Zambia
Author:Chali Mumba, DaviesISNI
Periodical:Zambia Law Journal (ISSN 1027-7862)
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:juvenile justice
children's rights
Abstract:Are children's rights being protected in the Zambian criminal justice system? Zambia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and has also enacted its own legislation which deals specifically with child offenders, the Juveniles Act. In practice, however, the procedures and the structural infrastructure for administering the law are fundamentally the same for both adults and children, despite the recognition that children deserve special care and treatment. Torture of children while in police custody, arbitrary detention, delays in concluding cases by courts and unwarranted removal from parental care are the order of the day. The author identifies several factors that have contributed to the failure of the desired appropriate juvenile criminal justice system, among others lack of specially-trained police officers and magistrates, lack of facilities suitable for children, and absence of the political will to allocate adequate resources to the courts, the police and prisons in general. Moreover, though the CRC has been ratified, it can only be actually incorporated into Zambian law through an Act of Parliament. The Zambian Parliament has so far failed to do this, so that important provisions from the CRC and other international instruments can in practice not be enforced in the Zambian courts. The author concludes that the manner in which children in conflict with the law have been dealt with by police, in prisons and in courts of law in Zambia leaves much to be desired. He makes recommendations for the improvement of the juvenile criminal justice system. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]