Child-friendly justice


Whilst responding to the coronavirus crisis is a major focus for our global partner networks, the pre-existing, strategic work must continue. Here is one example of an ongoing programme from CRANE, our partner network in Uganda.

A partnership with the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution has allowed CRANE to train more than 400 public prosecutors in child-friendly justice.

Each of them was so impacted by the training that they are now setting up child-friendly counselling and holding rooms in every regional centre. Children can also appear in court via video link, or behind a screen when technology is not available.

In August 2019, Samali Wakooli, the Head of the Gender and Sexual Offences Department of the Public Prosecution Office, phoned CRANE desperate for some help to buy some anatomical dolls.

Prosecutors’ carefully prepared cases to defend victims of child rape were failing too often because the child did not have the courage to speak in court. With those dolls distributed to High Courts across Uganda, conviction rates increased overnight from under 50 to 70%.

On the International Day of the African Child in June 2020, a virtual meeting was held between Samali, Mondo Kyateka Francis (the Assistant Commissioner for Children and Youth), plus 93 children.

Children read out their poems, letters and concerns – and Samali and Mondo told them that, if they ever find a problem, they would be welcome to come to the office for help. That same day, 28 communities listened on community radios, and millions more caught the talk shows on national radio and TV.

During this challenging time, we must not give up on creating opportunities for children to talk to parents, leaders, and the gatekeepers to power.

By Mim Friday, Viva’s Africa Director

Watch a video about this work at