Jan 21, 2020

Alternatives to Detention for Children and Women

Advocacy Posters on Alternatives to Detention
Advocacy Posters on Alternatives to Detention

Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your continued support of children and women in conflict with the law in Afghanistan.  We are delighted to share some of our key successes from 2019.

In 2019, Street Child focused our efforts on advocacy and training to promote the understanding and use of Alternatives to Detention and Alternatives to Incarceration among justice sector professionals in Afghanistan.

Despite a pledge by the Afghan government in 2016 to ‘end the imprisonment of women accused of running away from their families,’ girls and women continue to be arrested for so-called ‘moral crimes’, which may include fleeing a forced marriage or escaping domestic violence and are often imprisoned together with their children in deplorable conditions far from their families.

However, thanks to the efforts of Street Child’s legal workers, 2019 saw:  

  • The first ever community service sentence issued at Kabul's Juvenile primary court, as a result of Street Child’s ongoing advocacy efforts. 
  • The first sentence amendment for a female prisoner in the history of Afghanistan passed in July 2019 as a result of Street Child's legal advocacy and work.

Working closely with the government, local courts and judges in Kabul, Balkh, and Nangarhar regions to raise awareness, Street Child’s lawyers and social workers have secured:

  • 195 cases of Alternatives to Detention 
  • 14 cases of sentence amendment
  • 6 cases of Alternatives to Incarceration in Kabul and Balkh

Following this breakthrough year for the Afghan justice sector, Street Child is looking forward to sharing with you even more news and progress from our work in 2020! 

Oct 28, 2019

Essential Psychosocial Support for Children

Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your continued support of children in conflict with the law in Afghanistan. I am thrilled to share with you some of our successes from the first year of our project.

Street Child’s aim in this project is to improve the situation of children in conflict with the law in Afghanistan. We have been working to break the vicious cycle of injustice, improving children’s prospects and encouraging the development of a fairer community!

Project Update

Over the past year, Street Child, alongside our local partner in Afghanistan, have made significant progress towards our goals. We are excited to share with you these recent successes:

Educational and vocational training

Educational and vocational classes at rehabilitation centres have been well attended and are progressing as planned!Courses provided at Balkh Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre (BJRC) and Kabul Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre (KJRC) have included English classes, computer classes, calligraphy classes, literacy classes, bag making, shoe making, and handicraft courses. Over the past 1.5 years, 207 individuals have participated in our education courses at BJRC (136 males and 71 females) and 50 individuals have participated at KJRC.

 

Psychosocial support for children

One of the aims of this project was to provide counselling and psychosocial support for children in conflict with the law who are either waiting for their trial or have recently faced trial.

Over the past year, a total of 40 children, including 33 boys and girls, were provided with psychosocial support through the course of 75 individual lessons.

One element of this support is family therapy; this is essential to ensuring acceptance from the family and community upon release, and is critical to the rehabilitation and reintegration of the children. A total of 9 sessions have been conducted so far – each session moves these children closer to where they are supposed to be – with their families and communities at home, rather than in prison.

 

Case Study – Jawed*

Tired of his abusive father and economic situation, Jawed ran away from home. Young and naïve, Jawed soon became the target of sexual abuse by an older man who offered to give him a place to stay.

As a result of his association with the older man, Jawed was soon arrested and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at Balkh Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre. Street Child’s social workers managed to overturn Jawed’s case but despite his innocence and youth, Jawed was held in the detention centre for 27 days – a human rights and child rights violation.

When he was finally released, Jawed was formally handed over to an orphanage until his family could come to collect him. However, despite everything Jawed had experienced – abuse from his father, extreme poverty, rape, abuse, and imprisonment – Jawed’s parents contacted the orphanage and told Jawed that he was no longer their son.This was extremely detrimental to Jawed’s mental wellbeing – he was sleeping badly, and began to suffer from a lack of self-confidence and anorexia.

A Street Child social worker intervened, and Jawed began to receive counselling sessions. At his first session, Jawed was diagnosed as depressed and with severe insomnia. After receiving six counselling sessions, Jawed reports that the service has helped him to feel significantly mentally healthier – he is now begin to plan for his future! He says, “I want to be a teacher; you have changed my thoughts with counselling.”

Jawed’s parents were also able to receive counselling over the phone – they learnt that Jawed was not at fault, and are now ready to accept him as their son. Street Child is happy to relay the news that Jawed will be returned to his family in the near future!

*name changed to protect identity

 

What Comes Next

As this project progresses we are hoping to see our successes so far continue, and are looking forward to seeing how the children you are supporting are able to thrive!

Links:

Apr 17, 2018

The Impact of Your Support

Children decorating the new child friendly spaces
Children decorating the new child friendly spaces
Earlier this year we emailed with you with the amazing progress we had made in NE Nigeria all thanks to your support. We were excited to share the plans we had for 2018 which included: 
 
- building 60 more temporary learning centres, rehabilitating 120 damaged classrooms and training 450 teachers across the North East.
 
- helping 23,000 conflict-affected children not only to have access to basic education, but benefit from teachers and social workers trained in counselling and child protection. 
 
Now we can share with you that this work has begun - we are in the process of building 30 child friendly spaces where children who have been impacted by on-going conflict have a safe space to play, learn and access counselling if they need it. Thanks to your support, we will also be providing families with business grants and training to address the over-arching barrier to education for internally displaced and host community families: household poverty.
Thank you so much again for supporting our work to help conflict-impacted children and families in Nigeria. With your support, we are changing lives. 
 
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