Press Conference Text of His Excellency Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar on the Status of Juvenile Delinquents - Ministry of Justice

Press Conference Text of His Excellency Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar on the Status of Juvenile Delinquents

 

Let me begin from here that the children suspected, accused or convicted into custody / confinement are introduced to Juvenile Rehabilitation Centersof Ministry of Justiceby the detecting organs, prosecution Office and courts.

Juvenile Rehabilitation Centers (JRC) are established all over the country. They are divided into two sections; open section and closed section. In the open section of these centers, those children are kept who have not committed heavy offences against law. In these sections of the centers, the children are kept during the day time, and in the night, they are handed over to their guardians or to their legal representatives, based on bail to present them back to the center on daily basis. While in the closed sections of these centers, those children are kept who have committed heavy offences. These children are kept day and night for the purpose of their re-education and re-correction.

According to the latest reports, there are some784 delinquent children residing in thesecenters. Out of these, 80 of them are girls and the remaining 704 are boys, as in the following order:

  1. 171 children, suspected, accused and or convicted of crimes against internal and external security;
  2. 150 children, suspected, accused or convicted of larceny;
  3. 123 children, suspected, accused or convicted of murder.

Most of these children;respectively, 199 children in Kabul, 98 children in Herat and 52 children in Nangarhar Provinces are kept under rehabilitation/correction.

Since 1393 till now, in total some 10,699 delinquent children have been admitted in these rehabilitation centers from all over the countryon various occasions. These children have been under rehabilitation and correction in those centers. According to the reports received, most of these offending childrenare between 16 and 17 years of age. Luckily, there has been a 20% decrease in the number of the delinquent children in the rehabilitation/correction centers, in comparison to four years ago.

In general, the provision of educational, health, cultural, security, and vocationaltrainings are aligned with the agreement in cooperation with the ministries of Education, Public Health, Information and Culture, Internal Affairs and the Work and Social Affairs. As for the resources and coordination of the institutions, children have been taken care of. Also, the Ministry of Justice has established a committee to develop a national strategy for further improvement of the situation of children. Despite that we request the concerned organizations/agencies to pay more care and attention towards these children.

Till now, 10 relatively standardbuildings have been constructed for the rehabilitation/correction centers by the government. These buildings have been built in the provinces of Kabul, Herat, Farah, Helmand, Wardak, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Balkh, Khost and Samangan. The construction work of building three rehabilitation/correction centers in the provinces of Bamyan, Paktika and Badakhshan, in sha Allah, shall be completed soon. In the coming year, we have plans to build more rehabilitation/correction centers in the provinces of  Parwarn, Ghoor, Ghazni, Urzgan and Takhar.

Fortunately, a number of considerate religious scholars have been employed to alter and correct the harmful thoughts of the suspected, accused and convicted children for committing crimes against internal and external security, and such children are taught religious and moral ethics by these scholars, in most of these rehabilitation centers.

During our service period, the Ministry of Justice has provided various goods and supplies such as clothing, food items, stationary, medical equipment, vocational training tools, medicine, wood/fuel and other necessities of children for the rehabilitation centers all over the country.

This is the first time ever that some 11 psychologists have been employed to provide psychotherapy to the delinquent juveniles in the provinces of Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Nangarhar, Takhar, Balkh,Nimrooz. Also, case management system has been established in all of these centers.To facilitate access for more children to the right of education, libraries have been established considering inputs available in all the rehabilitation centers. Luckily, these children have access to advocates andfree legal assistance. Another important point is that in some of these rehabilitation centers, the children have access to learning of tailoring, embroidery,carpentry, beading and painting. In sha Allah, agreements have concludedin this regard to further improve the vocational education and psychology. We increase our efforts in order to strengthen the vocational training programs of these children, by providing raw materials for handicrafts, and then organize exhibitions for these handicrafts in the rehabilitation centers in Kabul and provinces.

According to the Law, custody of a child is the final resort to rehabilitate and educatea child. Therefore, we are working to implement plans on alternatives for custody so that the number of children kept in the rehabilitation centers are reduced.

We have always been emphasizing that the role of families, society, police and special courts for children is very essential and effective in implementing the alternativesto custody. Police, conducting a series of proactive measures, such as patrolling crime areas, advise and warning children on consequences of their deeds, can reduce chances of committing crimes.

The staff members of the rehabilitation centers are obliged to treat the childrensuspected, accused or convicted to custody, in such a way that, when they re-join the society, act as law obeying citizens. The guards, while in duty, are not allowed to bear weapon with them, but in exceptional cases.

I assure that the High Council for the Rehabilitation Centers, in order to coordinate working programs of the supporting agencies of the rehabilitation centers, should hold meetings once in every three months. I would like to emphasize once againthat the member institutions of the High Council of the Rehabilitation Centers have the responsibility, in accordance with the law and agreement, to endeavor in improving the educational, health, psychological, vocational and cultural situation of the children, and continue to render their cooperation more vigorously.

Thank You.