The Child Rights Information and Documentation Centre (CRIDOC) is concerned that a wide range of heinous abuses and exploitation of the incarcerated minors is inevitable especially Sodomy if the judiciary strike continues.
Malawi’s Judiciary staff have been on strike since the beginning of this year demanding arrears of their approved perks.
“Looking at the unfolding events,…there is increasing likelihood that minors might find themselves in a dire situation where they are being mixed with adults, thereby exposing them to all sorts of abuses and exploitation ranging from health-related rights to sexual abuse,” the organisation’s executive director George Mwika Kayange said.
Kayange said this in a statement made available to the media on Friday.
The organisation has since asked government to apply to the letter the recently enacted law on children, the Child (Care, Protection and Justice) Act 2010, which clearly stipulates that children cannot be detained in Police Stations or with adult offenders but in ‘safety homes’.
Kayange is therefore cautioning the Prison authorities and other relevant stakeholders of a looming national catastrophe if the relevant authorities do not take decisive measures to prevent and mitigate the dreadful situation.
He said the organisation’s fear for the children is based on past experiences regarding juvenile justice system and treatment of children in police cells and prisons in Malawi.
“For instance, it has been discovered in the past that some juveniles had stayed in remand awaiting trial for up to four years without appearing before a magistrate. The children in these prisons were alleged to be abused sexually, physically and emotionally, and were also not given proper health care, causing the spread of infections,” Kayange said.
CRIDOC is a non-profit organisation established to contribute towards the promotion and protection of rights and development of children and young people through information exchange, information documentation and information dissemination