The 2014 SAJCEA regional conference - update

  • December 25, 2014

The second annual regional SAJCEA conference attendees in Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaThe CBA’s Supporting Access to Justice for Children and Youth in East Africa (SAJCEA) project held its second annual regional conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in early November, bringing together a cross-section of our government and civil-society partners from all three of the project countries. The event was exceptionally well regarded and received by our partners, who felt that it was useful in helping to advance needed juvenile justice initiatives in their countries.

SAJCEA, a four-year project centred in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, is in its second full year of operation. Its goal is to increase the safety and security of children and youth in those countries by improving their ability to seek and obtain remedies for infringements of their rights.

Kenya National Working GroupIn each of the project countries the CBA partners with National Working Groups that include the central players involved in juvenile justice, such as the national law societies, government ministries and institutions with the responsibility for child justice and the key national civil society organizations in this area. The conference provided an excellent forum for them to share their expertise on how to improve access to justice for children and youth through stakeholder collaboration, and to further the development of their project activities.

The keynote speech was delivered by His Lordship Robert Makalamba, who welcomed the delegates and spoke of the pivotal role of the judiciary in strengthening access to justice for children in the region.

The CBA was asked to provide Canadian technical expertise on the conference’s key theme of enhancing youth criminal diversion programs, and with respect to test-case litigation strategy and design. The CBA sent four volunteers (Paula Kingston, Lee Tustin, Mary Birdsell and Linda Selbie MacDonald), CBA members and experts in the field, to present on the subjects. They were joined by the key members of the CBA management team for the project, including Darren Thorne (SAJCEA Project Director), Ian Morrison (Regional Project Director and head of the Nairobi-based Project Support Office), Joan Kariuki (the Project’s new Regional Manager), and Elisabeth Wilson (Gender Advisor), who also spoke and presented at the conference.