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21 February 2017 | 15:26

BICE and its Latin-American partners of the program “Childhood without Bars” meet in Ecuador

Last November, thanks to the support of the German foundation Kindermissionswerk and the Tertiary Capuchins of Ecuador and Colombia, some Latin-American partners met in Quito (Ecuador).

The purpose of this meeting:

  • Draw up a report on the Childhood without Bars program (2012-2015)
  • Organise the 2nd phase of the program (2016-2019)

María Camila Caicedo, Latin America and the Caribbean program officer and Juan Carlos Godoy, network manager, were in Quito from 14 to 18 November 2016, in order to meet with BICE Latin-American partners of the Childhood without Bars program.

The week was fruitful and rich of good experiences, allowing the strengthening of links between BICE and its partner organisations engaged in improving the living conditions of children in conflict with the law.

Positive results of the 1st phase of the Childhood without Bars program

During this mission, BICE informed its partners of the results achieved thanks to the Childhood without Bars program (2012-2015) in the 5 countries of intervention:

  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Guatemala
  • Peru.

Indeed, an external evaluation conducted at the end of the programme, clearly showed that our partners – the ICCPG (Guatemala), Cometa and the OPA (Peru), Pastoral do Menor (Brazil), the Tertiary Capuchins in Colombia and the Tertiary Capuchins in Ecuador – worked efficiently with different stakeholders, through, inter alia, the organisation of trainings for members of the justice administration and in favour of restorative justice and non-custodial measures for children.

Feedback on the events organised during this week

A seminar dealing with the educational process and the new intervention alternatives in the field of non-custodial measures for children in conflict with the law was also organised.

During the seminar workshops, participants proposed some recommendations, which will be used as advocacy tools by all the partner organisations when relating with their national authorities.

The Tertiary Capuchins in Ecuador also facilitated the participation to :

  • A psychosocial support session organised by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Justice, in order to present its activities and interventions with children in conflict with the law and their families, and
  • A visit of the Virgilio Guerrero counselling centre in Quito. This institution welcomes boys in conflict with the law and subject to custodial sentences and it follows a methodology of integral socio-educative intervention.

This mission allowed us to reaffirm the effectiveness of our Latin-American partners in the development of BICE programs and in their contribution to the implementation of an innovating model of restorative justice. They will have the opportunity to continue their work during the second phase of the Childhood without Bars program (2016-2019).