Maputo, 18 November 2011. The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute - UNICRI - in partnership with the Ministry of Justice of Mozambique has celebrated the opening of the Information Point in the neighborhood of Mafalala (Maputo) on Friday the 18th of November 2011. The initiative is supported by the Belgian Cooperation and the Danish Embassy. The Information Point for juveniles and their families has been developed in the framework of the Consolidation Phase of the UNICRI project Strengthening Juvenile Justice in Mozambique.
The project started in 2005 with the aim of improving the living conditions of Mozambican juveniles who are at risk or in conflict with the law. The project is now in its consolidation phase and, in this context, the Information Point at Mafalala represents a significant achievement.
Since the end of July 2011, UNICRI in collaboration with the Mozambican NGO Cooperative Social Tsembeka (located in the neighborhood of Hulene) and the DAMBO association (located in the neighborhood of Mafalala), have been carrying out preventative and information activities for the protection of juveniles. The two NGOs are developing educational and recreational activities aimed at developing rehabilitation and reintegration into the community programs for juveniles at risk or in conflict with the law. Tutors and psychologists support and supervise the rehabilitation process of juveniles in order to avoid a relapse into situations of risk. Juveniles and their families are receiving support and information regarding their responsibilities and rights as well as being engaged in the educational and recreational activities aimed at facilitating rehabilitation into their community.
Within the programme other important activities will be carried out in the following months, including, among others, the opening of a new Information Point in the neighborhood of Maxaquene C, equipping the Community Court of Mindcanjuine - which also offers its services to the community of Mafalala -, organization of vocational training for eighty juveniles and the creation of an inter-ministerial database containing all relevant information regarding juveniles in conflict with the law.
The inauguration ceremony of the Information Point of Mafalala has been attended by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Ms. Sheila Santana Afonso; the Canceller of the Belgian Cooperation, Ms. Claudine Aelvoet; the Director of Planification and International Cooperation, Mr. Angelo Paunde; UNICRI Programme Coordinator Ms. Andrea Rachele Fiore, representatives of the Tribunal for Minors, the Ministry of Interior as well as local authorities, including the administrator of the neighborhood, Ms. Celina Cossa. The ceremony has also been attended by national NGOs and local community members.