Juvenile Justice in Ivory Coast - BICE - ONG de protection des droits de l'enfant

Juvenile Justice in Ivory Coast

In Ivory Coast, the juvenile justice system is governed by articles of the Code of Criminal Procedure. They favour measures of protection, support, supervision and education adapted for children in conflict with the law, before deprivation of liberty. The decree on prison regulations defines: setting the rules for the implementation of custodial sentences the separation of juveniles and adults obligatory support provided by special educators the education of children deprived of liberty The age of criminal responsibility is set at 10 years old (13 years old in France); in theory, minors that are 10-13 years old cannot be placed in a detention center. However, many children are detained as adults. Periods of custody are rarely respected and the physical and moral integrity of children is violated: children are often victims of physical or verbal abuse, and intimidation. Children born in prison or living with their mothers in prison are not accounted for: the prison administration has no policy with respect to these children.  


BICE acts for restorative justice

BICE has worked in Ivory Coast on behalf of children in conflict with the law since 1987, directly at first, and currently in partnership with DDE-CI (Dignity and Rights for Children in Ivory Coast).

The “Childhood without bars” programme ensures the proper implementation of juvenile justice procedures, including:

  • training professionals on specific minors’ rights
  • improving the functioning of the courts
  • enhancing access to justice for children and their families
  • improving the conditions of detention in Ivorian prisons
  • improving the treatment of children in conflict with the law


  • Nutritional support in MACA (Remand home and prison in Abidjan)
  • Justice and legal assistance for children in conflict with the law,
  • Support and psycho-educational or vocational rehabilitation of minors,
  • Capacity building of professionals in the field (judicial police, social workers, judges)
  • Prevention and awareness-raising for families and communities (positive parenting)
  • Advocating for a protective legal environment for children.

Key figures per year

  • 170 juveniles in conflict with the law
  • 90 members of the family circle of minors (parents, guardians, communities …)
  • 40 professionals of the juvenile justice system (judges, staff, police …)
  • 230 social workers of closed centres
  • 10 members of the media educated on the juvenile justice system (radio, TV, newspapers …)

    and on...