The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the child justice systems dealing with children in
conflict with the law. The research venue was the C-Court at the Katutura Magistrate Court and
the duty stations of the key informants were in Windhoek.
The researcher used qualitative and quantitative research approaches in conducting the study.
The qualitative research approach applied the summative evaluation and the quantitative method
utilized the survey design. A structured questionnaire was administered with 70 respondents at
the Katutura Magistrate Court to obtain detailed knowledge of the specific needs of children.
The data captured from the questionnaires were analyzed using the statistical package for social
sciences (IBM SPSS Statistics - 19). Results are presented in frequency tables, bar charts, pie
charts and other forms of graphs for interpretation.
The findings for the quantitative approach were based on the extent and distribution of the
problem such as the protection of the rights of children during arrest, detention, screening and
rehabilitation offered by the diversion programs.
In-depth interviews with the 20 key informants were conducted because of their expertise in
child justice and the power they wield in decision making. Data was gathered through a semistructured
interview guide. A tape recorder and field notes were used.
A profile of the personal information of a child in conflict with the law reveals that boys are
more likely to commit crime than girls aged 14-17 across four cultural and ethnic groups:
Damara/Nama, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo and Otjiherero. They were mostly out of school and
repeat offenders. Generally all crimes committed had a bias towards meeting the economic
needs of the child offender.
The services available for children in conflict with the law were found not to be adequately
aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Detention was
invariably applied at the expense of alternative measures to deal with children in conflict with
the law. Several children were detained with adult offenders and in addition there were limited
opportunities for assessment before the first court appearance. Cases were not speedily finalized
or held “in camera”. Services to children in conflict with the law are provided in a fragmented
manner and the Inter-ministerial Committee on child justice which is supposed to coordinate
services is not fully functional.
The study recommends that minimum guidelines be developed for the pre-trial process on how
children should be treated during assessment, arrest, detention and pre-trial diversion. The
development of a structure for child justice is imperative as well as the enactment of the Child
Justice Bill. Programmes on resilience should be offered to boys so that they can acquire skills
and capabilities on how to deal with life’s difficulties. Multi –model crime prevention strategies
at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, with the involvement of the parents should be offered
to children. The extension of restorative justice approaches should be supported. Finally
capacity building of key stakeholders should be prioritized to give sufficient backing to the
activities leading to the achievement of the recommendations made.
SSA, R (2021). An EVALUATION OF THE CHILD JUSTICE SYSTEMS DEALING WITH CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/an-evaluation-of-the-child-justice-systems-dealing-with-children-in-conflict-with-the-law
Research, SSA. "An EVALUATION OF THE CHILD JUSTICE SYSTEMS DEALING WITH CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/an-evaluation-of-the-child-justice-systems-dealing-with-children-in-conflict-with-the-law . Accessed 10 May. 2021.
Research, SSA. "An EVALUATION OF THE CHILD JUSTICE SYSTEMS DEALING WITH CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021. Web. 10 May. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/an-evaluation-of-the-child-justice-systems-dealing-with-children-in-conflict-with-the-law >.
Research, SSA. "An EVALUATION OF THE CHILD JUSTICE SYSTEMS DEALING WITH CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed May 10, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/an-evaluation-of-the-child-justice-systems-dealing-with-children-in-conflict-with-the-law