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OneMinutesJr - Teenagers share visual stories on juvenile justice in Tajikistan

by Chris Schuepp

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, 30 June 2012 - A group of boys from different regions of the Central Asian Republic of Tajikistan participated in a OneMinutesJr video workshop in the capital Dushanbe this week.

Supported by UNICEF and the European Union, the workshop focused on problems and challenges in the juvenile justice system of the country. The boys, aged 13-19, had all been in conflict with the law prior to the seminar and shared their stories and experiences throughout the five-day training.

Three young participants of the workshop in Dushanbe experimenting with the camera. UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2012

UNICEF Tajikistan organized the workshop in cooperation with the NGO Child Rights Centre and invited teenagers from Dushanbe, Khujand and Kurgan-Tyube to participate in the hands-on workshop in the capital.

During the first day of the training, the teenagers shared their personal stories with the trainers and started developing storyboards for the filming.

It was immediately clear that the participants felt that their rights had been violated while they were in conflict with the law. Most of them reported that police officers were extremely rude to them, that lawyers tried to trick them into admitting more crimes than they had comitted or that judges did not believe them. Also, the duration of the whole investigation was questioned, especially in a film called "3 months, 16 days".

One of the filming days was spent in a closed institution for children where some of the participants had spent time following a judge ruling. The videos produced there will give an insight view into the reality of children living in a closed environment, away from their parents and their known surroundings.

Twelve films were produced over the course of five days. The videos were shown at the end of the week during a presentaton for the participants and a number of guest from UNICEF and partner organizations. UNICEF's deputy representativein Tajikistan, Arthur Van Diesen, said after watching the premiere of the films: "The twelve one minute videos I saw taught me more about what it is like to be young and come into contact with the law in Tajikistan than the many reports I waded through. A huge thanks to these twelve boys for telling their stories so powerfully, to the facilitators and to all who supported this initiative."

Group photo after the workshop in Dushanbe - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2012



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