Justice for children
UNICEF is helping Madagascar develop a justice system that provides children with greater protection as victims, witnesses and offenders. Not only does this include strengthening the current system, it involves influencing public attitudes and integrating justice for children within a broader legal framework.
Particular attention is being given to reforming the juvenile justice system, including minimising periods of pre-trial detention, and developing community-based rehabilitative interventions to reduce repeat offending. Official reports from the Ministry of Justice reveal that a great number of children in detention in Madagascar are deprived of liberty before sentencing; as result more than 50 per cent of children in prisons are in pre-sentence detention, and most children in conflict with the law are almost always sentenced to deprivation of liberty.UNICEF works in close collaboration with counterparts and experts from the Ministry of Justice to draft and develop guidelines for the systematic diversion of children accused of petty crime from the justice system, and to provide alternatives to the systematic imprisonment of children.
The protection programme is also strengthening efforts to train law enforcers on the application of new laws on child rights; and is helping to strengthen policies and practices on adoption and the alternative care of children.
UNICEF Madagascar also supports national reviews of compliance with, and reporting obligations on, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In the East Asia and Pacific Region, some new initiatives are being explored. Read more in the 'Justice for Children: Detention as a last resort - Innovative initiatives in the East Asia and Pacific Region.'