On Wednesday 25 January 2012, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights opened a workshop titled “Juvenile Justice under International Conventions and National Laws,” held at the training hall of the Jabaliya Association for Rehabilitation in Jabalia refugee Camp.
About 35 persons—parents, lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists—participated in the workshop.
This workshop constitutes one component of the “Enhancing Legal Aid for Victims of Human Rights Violations in the Gaza Strip” project, implemented by Al Mezan with support from the United Nations Development Program - Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP, Rule of Law Program).
Alaa’ Skafi, the project lawyer, opened the workshop by welcoming the participants.
He presented the workshop schedule and highlighted the importance of the workshop, which covers the situation of children in conflict with the law.
He added that most countries have started to pay serious attention to this issue as it is considered one of the most complicated social problems, which if not resolved could destroy the capacities of a whole generation.
Therefore, Palestinian laws and regulations should be amended to fall in line with recent penological thought, which deals with children as victims rather than criminals.
The participants were introduced to various topics related to juvenile justice, the situation of children in conflict with the law, and their protection under Palestinian national and international laws.
Tareq Ad-Derawi and chief prosecutor Zain Bsieso led the two sessions of the workshop.
The workshop is part of a wider campaign by Al Mezan to advance principles of child protection through development of the juvenile justice sector.
Several media and awareness-raising activities are being carried out in January and February 2012 as part of this campaign.