The Project to promote a protective enviroment for the fundamental rights of children deprived of liberty and/or in conflict with the law, and mistreated children in DR Congo is coming to an end in its present form.
Throughout the project, 3,500 children in conflict with the law benefited from increased legal protection, and an efficient follow-up within their home environment.
The deterioration of the legal system in DR Congo has had drastic consequences for juvenile justice, where the superior interest of the child and his right to specific protection are often flouted. Whether the child is suspected, accused, convicted, or the victim of an offense, the word of an adult usually prevails.
Mechanisms provided for by the law of 10 January 2009 on child protection (LPE 2009) have evolved, but are still not sufficiently interconnected. Serious efforts are required to improve communication and coordination between the various parties involved in juvenile justice, so that LPE 2009 and its mechanisms can be better applied.
Over the last year, the BICE project has led to tangible results, thanks to a combination of advocacy, awareness-raising, training and support for minors. These activities were also designed to promote and popularise « good practices » in the treatment of youth offenders and children whose rights are being violated.
Six mediation committees were created in the Provinces of Kinshasa, Western Kasaï and Eastern Kasaï, dozens of host families were trained, and the capacities of Local Protection Committees were strengthened, for the care of child victims. This has enabled 3500 children to receive legal protection and personalised care.
Today the project in its present form is coming to an end, but BICE is committed to continuing its actions in DRC for children in conflict with the law, through our new programme : "Childhood without bars", which is being launched next month in 9 countries of Africa and Latin America.