More than 100 child rights experts, advocates, defenders, campaigners, policy-makers, lawyers and academics are calling for action to make access to justice a reality for all African children.

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“Calls for action to improve access to justice for children in Africa”

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21 July 2015 - The reason why Katima Mulilo resident Fanny Mahamba strangled a two-year-old girl and broke her neck on 13 February last year was because he did not want anyone to find out that he had raped her.

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1 November 2013 - Kenya's lawnmowing rape sentence sends 1 million flocking to on-line protest. Over a million furious campaigners have signed a petition demanding justice after three men accused of brutally gang raping a Kenyan schoolgirl were ordered to cut grass as punishment.

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On 7-8 November 2011 CHI participated in the global conference on child justice in Africa. This conference set to explore issues of children deprived of their liberty within the justice systems in Africa. The conference was held at the Speke Resort and Conference Center in Kampala, Uganda. H.E. Right Honourable Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, Vice President of the Republic of Uganda was the chief guest, and officially opened the conference on 7 November. A number of key dignitaries were present, including the Chair of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), Mrs Agnès Kaboré; several members of the ACERWC; Prof. Kirsten Sandberg, member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; Dr Marta Santos Pais, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children; and Mr Rifat Kassis, the President of the International Board of Defence for Children International (DCI).

Mr David Mugawe, Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), worked tirelessly with his team to make the conference a success. The conference was attended by more than 300 participants from 33 countries. CHI was given a platform to speak about the role of child helplines in child justice systems, focusing on the child helplines in Kenya and South Africa. CHI was also a member of the working group/drafting team of the Munyonyo Declaration – a declaration that captured the findings, results, recommendations and actions proposed by the Conference participants. Other organisations represented in the working group of the Munyonyo Declaration were: ACPF, DCI, Save the Children Sweden (Eastern and Central Africa Regional office), Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice, NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Plan International West Africa Regional Office, and ECPAT/DCI Netherlands. CHI and ACPF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in September 2011. The collaboration between CHI and ACPF during the global conference on child justice on 7-8 November 2011 is a clear indication of their ongoing partnership.

Source: Child Helpline International (CHI)
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The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN), a children rights organisation, has called for judicial reforms in handling juvenile cases so as to create a conducive environment that will ensure children's active participation in judicial processes.

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The country's first prison for young offenders will start functioning this year (2012), revealed last Sunday, in Luanda, the Minister of the Interior, Sebastião Martins.

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Many children shy away from seeking justice because the court process is too strict, a state counsel has said. Mary Wangele, of the child offenders unit at the office of the DPP, said the law of evidence application does not favour children.

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The Vice-President, Edward Sekandi, has called for reforms in the administration of justice for children to end unfair treatment of juveniles in detention centres. At a global conference on justice for children for Africa at Speke Resort in Munyonyo, Kampala yesterday. Sekandi said law enforcement agents use torture to extort confessions from children. He said torturing children in such ways violates international instruments on children's rights.

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