The term ‘children in conflict with the law’ refersto anyone under 18 who comes into contact with the justice system as a result of being suspected or accused of committing an offence. Most children in conflict with the law have committed petty crimes or such minor offences as vagrancy, truancy, begging or theft. Some of these are known as ‘status offences’ and are not considered criminal when committed by adults. In addition, some children who engage in criminal behaviour have been used or coerced by adults. Too often, prejudice related to race, ethnicity or social and economic status may bring a child into conflict with the law even when no crime has been committed, or result in harsh treatment by law enforcement officials.
In 2005, Aschiana, with the support of UNICEF and Italian Cooperation started the first Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre in Afghanistan. In collaboration with government agencies, Aschiana is working in with the Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre (JRC) in Kabul and Herat. We provide children who are in conflict with the law with defence lawyers for court proceedings. We engage our community mobilizers and social workers in rehabilitation centres to follow up any legal cases against children and also support their family in reintegration of the children to the community.
Aschiana provides trainings for key stakeholders, who are directly and indirectly involved with children’s welfare like the magistrates, police personnel, teachers, social workers and media house members.