At least 268 out of 438 cases of minor offenders who were arrested, detained, and convicted as adults from 2010 to date from the Central Region have been assessed, The Daily Times has learnt.
This news follows the High Court’s ruling that ordered the review of the 438 cases in February 2015 after Eye of the Child asked the court to assess the cases after the organisation established that there was a violation of rights of children aged 16 to 18 years.
A visit by Eye of the Child to some prisons in the country late last year confirmed that many children are denied education, have inadequate food which is not good for their development and are exposed to various diseases such as malnutrition, tuberculosis and scabies, among others.
It was also established that there are no counsellors or social workers to assist the children which means they are treated as adults.
Eye of the Child Executive Director Maxwell Matewe r e confirmed that all the cases will be reviewed.
“We have set a new target to finish the assessment of cases and present the final report by the end of July 2015,” he said.
However, Matewere disclosed that the assessment process faced some difficulties such as problems to find case files, trace parents and lack of resources.
“We asked for funding from local donors but all have just made some promises. We expect that the assessment will cost K4 million. We are currently using our own resources,” he said.
Matewere said hi s organisation is responsible for assessing the files and presenting a report to the Case Review Board.
“We would like to appeal to government to provide all necessary resources to the Case Review Board to timely do its work. If we continue delaying in issuing fresh orders, government is violating the Court Judgment and innocent children will be punished wrongly,” he said.
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