This project provides effective legal counsel and legal rights awareness for indigent juvenile detainees in Burundi, who are often abused and imprisoned with adult convicts.
Prison conditions continue to be life threatening in Burundi. Shortages of food, water, electricity, clothing, and soap are daily hardships. The prison population has recently reached a peak of 11,000. Out of this prison population, more than 64.5% are pre-trial detainees, most of whom held in pretrial detention with adult prisoners. They are particularly vulnerable to the effects of poor prison conditions, and local reports indicate numerous complaints of physical and sexual abuse.
IBJ lawyers mine jail records to find juvenile offenders who have been lost in the legal system. They investigate each case, strive to acquire release on bail for their juvenile clients, and provide committed counsel to expedite their cases. To date, 45 pre-trial detainees, including 15 juveniles, have been released.
This project will provide effective legal representation for 100 juveniles enabling them to reunite with their families and rejoin their schools, and spawning a generation who value rule of law.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).
IBJ's Burundi Project Page
IBJ news on Burundi