Botswana Juvenile Justice System
Botswana, Gaborone, 18 March 2011: On 21st October 2010, 28 magistrates were oriented on what human rights-based delivery of child justice would mean for Botswana.
The orientation held in Gaborone was hosted by the Administration of Justice and UNICEF in order to strengthen the functioning of the court system with respect to juvenile justice.
The meeting was structured around an orientation on the principles of human rights and Justice for Children, followed by extensive sharing of experiences among the magistrates themselves, to focus on the “hands-on” approach required.
The orientation was opened by the Honourable Registrar and Master of High Court Mr. Godfrey Nthomiwa, followed by a speech by UNICEF Deputy Representative, Mr. Marcus Betts.
Both speeches underlined the importance of cooperation between the Administration of Justice and UNICEF Botswana Country Office. It was also noted that the Children’s Act of 2009 makes specific provisions to strengthen the justice system for children.
Botswana and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
In 2009, Botswana, which is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, passed milestone piece legislation in its quest to realise the rights of the child in the country, the Children’s Act 2009.
The implementation of the Children’s Act and further work to realise the standards in the Convention on the Rights of the Child partly depend on sufficient capacity among various public services at all levels in society.
In this connection, the Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended to the country to improve its training of professionals involved in the delivery of child justice.
Such training, the Committee has reiterated, has to cover knowledge, understanding, and skills on international standards on child rights.
Further training is planned for the police service.