Sunday 17 December, 2017

Children's courts to be established soon

T&T is well on its way to making significant strides towards the improvement of the youth justice system to incorporate international standards and practices.

With the Juvenile Court Project expected to be initiated by the end of the year, the Child Protection Unit (CPU) has been charged with a new mandate with respect to the care and protection of children, in keeping with international standards.

The introduction of juvenile courts is expected to deal with crimes perpetrated by child offenders.

Three Children’s Courts will be established at Fyzabad, Port of Spain and Tobago.

All officers in the unit are trained in the execution of the new Judge’s Rules for children and all aspects of the new Juvenile Court Project.

Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory of an international treaty which provides a framework for the administration of child justice, and which guarantees certain rights for children in conflict with the law. It includes the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child.

Arising out of this the Juvenile Court Project was borne.

The CPU, founded just two years ago, to fulfil the requirements of the Children’s Act 12 of 2012, the Children’s Authority Act Chapter 46:10 and the Children Community Residences, Foster Homes and Nurseries Amendment Act 2008, is tasked with protecting children from criminal harm.

The role and functions of CPU is to investigate reports of sexual offences, sexual abuse, physical abuse, abandonment/ neglect and ill-treatment against children.

The Unit works in collaboration with the Children’s Authority to ensure the care and protection of all the nation’s children.

The CPU ensures reports of abuse committed against children are investigated and accused persons are prosecuted.