Turin, 24 July 2008. Within the framework of UNICRI's Support Programme to Children in Angola, Maria Do Carmo Medina's book 'Lei do Julgado de Menores, Codigo de Processo do Julgado de Menores' (Juvenile Justice Law - Process Code for Juvenile Courts) has been reprinted and revised with thanks to UNICEF, the European Union, and the Italian Cooperation for Development.
The protection of children in conflict with the law is an extremely urgent issue, and as such is a priority of UNICRI. UNICRI's support programme for child and youth rights in Angola has been implemented with a view to setting up and managing an effective juvenile justice system comprising efficient juvenile courts and related social services. Activities in this area have yielded promising results. The handbook for the protection of children's rights is no exception.
A major stumbling block for the implementation of efficient juvenile justice systems is bridging the gap between the existence of legal instruments and their practical implementation. The handbook is an important tool for the legal practitioners dealing with juvenile justice in Angola. It aims to improve the knowledge of the rights of the child. Judges, lawyers, and social workers will all benefit from this publication which will contribute to enforcing the implementation of national and international legislation for the protection of children in conflict with the law.
The handbook includes, inter alia, analysis of: Angola's current legislation on minors; the principle measures related to juvenile crime prevention; the revision of sentences; the application of parole; the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Protocols, the United Nations standards for the administration of Juvenile Justice; and the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Crime and Juvenile Delinquency.
An innovative aspect highlighted in this publication is the introduction of measures alternative to detention, such as community services. This can have a significant impact in the field of juvenile justice, and, as such, on the lives of children at risk.
The textbook has been designed to contribute to the improved performance of the legal, educational and correctional personnel of the newly established Rehabilitation and Training Centre. The presence of such structures as the Juvenile Justice Court, and the Observation and Social Centres has proven a significant player in preventing the detention of children in adult prisons.
Sandro Calvani, Director of UNICRI said, 'This publication is set to become an important tool for judges, lawyers, social workers, legal tutors and all those concerned with the proper implementation of Angola's juvenile legislation. It is imperative that we pay particular attention to the protection, assistance and education of children in conflict with the law.'