UP Zambia was founded in 2014 and is now entering it's 10th year of providing legal and social support to children in Zambia's criminal justice system. UP Zambia provides holistic services from a child's first contact at the police station, to court appearances, to post trial social services to help the child reintegrate. UP Zambia hopes to provide legal and social services to over 1000 children in 2024. Your support will help us meet the most urgent needs of children across Zambia.
53% of Zambia's population is aged 18 and under with 54.9% of the children living in poor households. The vast majority of children in conflict with the law in Zambia cannot afford a lawyer, and legal aid resources are very limited. Children are often forced to defend themselves alone in court, lacking even a basic understanding of their rights and legal procedure. This can result in overly severe charges, one-sided trials, and weak convictions.
UP Zambia provides free legal support to children from the time they are first brought to the police station to the time their cases in court are complete. Using a team of law students, graduates, and licensed attorneys, UP Zambia ensures that a child receives comprehensive legal services. UP Zambia also supports children and their families with counseling, therapy, support groups, and getting back into school, to address a child's needs holistically as they reintegrate back into the community.
The services provided by the UP Zambia team are changing the way child justice is administered in Zambia. When a child's rights are defended in the justice process, government stakeholders are motivated to prioritize the implementation of child justice laws and processes across the nation. When a child receives both legal and social services when encountering the justice system, this supports a child's overall rehabilitation and reduces the chance a child will become a repeat offender.