Assessment of the role of the Children Act 1996 in the promotion and protection of the rights of juveniles in Uganda: a case study of the law relating to juvenile offenders
Mugabi, James Ronnie
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The study is about the Children Act 1996 of Uganda, with specific focus on the law related to the rights of juvenile offenders. The Act puts in place structures, guideline and procedures followed while dealing with juvenile offenders to ensure that their rights are promoted and protected. However reports still show many children treated in a way that is contrary to the principles outlined in the Act. The main objectives of the study therefore were, to find out the levels of understanding of the key actors about the subject of juvenile justice, and to assess the juvenile structures in place and their impact to juveniles. Inquiry was made to the key actors like the Local council 1, the police, Probation and welfare officers, Naguru remand home Magistrates, and Kampiringida Rehabilitation Centre. Two interview guides were used and the data obtained was largely qualitative, which ware coded using pattern of themes generated from the responses obtained from the field. The findings about the level of knowledge of the key actors of the juvenile justice system in Uganda; the structures in place and their effectiveness; and challenges in the implementation of the juvenile law. From the evaluation majority of the key actors are not knowledgeable about the juvenile justice system, practically the law relating to juvenile with conflict with the law. There is inadequate structure and poorly financed to the extant the juveniles cannot ably benefit positive from them. In all, the Act has good intention in promoting of the juveniles dignity and to restore hope in their lives. However there is need to: build capacity of all key actors as far as the law relating to juvenile offender is concerned, translated the Act into a user-friendly languages to enable dissemination and increase budget allocation to both Naguru Remand Home and Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre.