Juvenile Justice Program
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirmed the Principle that human beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination. This recognition is crucial for protection of refugees especially children. The plight of children’s involvement in these wars has grown in magnitude such that it has alarmed the attention of international community. PSJ has prepared a responsive social and legal support system and framework, able to respond to those unique needs faced by former child soldiers.
The linkage between child soldiering and exploitative labor is critical in the sense that children in most societies are expected to work and support their families. The use of child soldiers violates widely accepted principles of international humanitarian law about proper behavior in the conduct of war. This project shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victim of armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters health, self respect and dignity of the child.
Research conducted shows that the Lord’s Resistance Army deployed the boy children and used them as laborers by carrying looted goods and ammunition and growing food in the camps in southern Sudan. The girl children abducted into armed groups were usually forced into sexual slavery where they are distributed to rebel commanders as a payment or motivation and sadly ended up contracting HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.
These heartbreaking experiences have transformed our children into merciless killers, committing the most horrendous atrocities with apparent indifference and sometimes pride. They have suffered effects of sexual violence and the multiple deprivations of armed conflicts that expose them to hunger or disease. As a result they hate & reject themselves even before society rejected them. They do not know how to receive love even from their immediate families. They have become lawless and continue to disrespect the elders, family members and law officials. These children became habitual offenders; they are constantly in and out of remand homes and other places of detention.
PSJ would like to end this cycle and put together a team of lawyers and professional counselors who will help talk these children, identify their problems, help them recognize their wrong and eventually assist them develop into responsible children. Our team set up meetings with the families/communities where these boys come from and provide free counseling services so that they too can start the process of accepting these children back.
The overall goal of this project is to improve conditions and quality of life to former child soldiers as a means to achieve holistic community development.