Children in Conflict with the Law
In some parts of the world, children caught committing crimes end up in adult justice systems and are denied their rights to special protection.
- Many are children without homes or families who have committed "crimes of survival" – stealing food, for example.
- Children and youth can spend up to two years in detention awaiting trial.
- In the adult system, children often don't have access to social workers, lawyers and other youth justice specialists to help them understand what is happening and what their rights are.
- Young people can be tried by judges who don't know all the special sentencing options available.
- When girls and boys are placed in the same institutions as adults, they are more likely to be abused.
- Young people sentenced in adult courts are less likely to get an education while in prison – and so the cycle of hopelessness and crime continues once they leave.
What is Plan doing?
We are working with partners to ensure that children are registered at birth, so they can prove their legal age and claim their right to special protection. Police and others involved in the justice system are being taught the rights of children. Plan is providing micro-finance for children and youth to help them find legal ways of making a living and get off the streets.
Get involved and make a difference.