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

Juvenile Justice in Togo

In Togo, the juvenile justice system is governed by the 2007 Children’s Code. It provides certain alternatives to imprisonment, such as: the return of the child to its parents or to a trustworthy person placement in educational, professional or health institutions penal mediation, whereby a non-professional mediator is appointed for the amicable resolution of disputes the development of appropriate social programmes initiation of legal procedures and investigation compulsory schooling or rehabilitation The age of criminal responsibility in Togo is 14 years old, compared to 13 years old in France. In Togo: "children in conflict with the law are largely from underprivileged urban areas. Some are from broken families, single-parent or stepfamilies where the lack of resources, combined with the lack of supervision and family dysfunction, are critical. Other children, already vulnerable (domestic or street children), and driven by destitution, become children in conflict with the law. " Despite the adoption of international instruments, the rights of incarcerated juveniles continue to be violated. There are only three facilities adapted for children in conflict with the law; most of the time, these children are held in adult prisons. Undernourishment, poor hygiene, squalor, insufficient medical care all constitute a violation of children’s and basic human rights.  


BICE fights for restorative justice

Since 1996, BICE (directly for 15 years, then in partnership with the BNCE-Togo) has been present in Togo.

BICE was closely associated with procedures leading to the adoption of the Children’s Code, the national child protection policy, and with the strategy for its implementation.With BNCE Togo, it is also part of a group of partners representing a framework for exchange and reflection among the main child protection organisations in Togo.

Our “Childhood without bars” programme works simultaneously on three levels:

  • tangible support for juveniles in detention
  • awareness-raising in the civilian population of respect for the rights of the child
  • advocacy with actors of juvenile justice in Togo, for a better enforcement of existing laws.

Childhood without bars: our activities in Togo

  • Improving conditions of detention to prevent abuse of children
  • Enabling access to healthcare and medicine
  • Ensuring compliance with procedural safeguards and implementing penal mediation
  • Promoting familial, socio-professional or school rehabilitation for children in conflict with the law, after their arrest or detention
  • Psychosocial support, family mediation, social and educational activities.

Key figures per year

  • 170 juveniles in conflict with the law
  • 130 members of minors’ family or community (parents, carers…)
  • 40 people involved in juvenile justice (judges, staff, police…)
  • 80 social workers from closed detention centres
  • 35 members of the media informed about the juvenile justice system (radio, TV, newspapers…)

    and on...