The plan by the Ministry of Justice of giving legal aid to juvenile offenders has seen 350 cases tried and done with since its inception.
“Initially we had the aim of closing all the 648 cases that involved children, however some did not turn up for the hearings, especially those who were pleading from outside prison,” Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama told The New Times.
“We therefore postponed the remaining 299 cases but certainly all these will be closed by October this year,” Karugarama said.
The legal aid week, which ended at the beginning of this month, did not only focus on juvenile justice but also on the conditions that surround prisons in the country.
“Supported by various institutions and associations, we visited all the prisons, listened to prisoners and checked on irregular detentions. As a result, most of the illegally detained prisoners were released and reports of details per district will be out by next week,” he added.
Next month, the ministry will officially launch access to justice bureaus that will help disseminate information on legal aid and legal services as well.
The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya commended the legal effort as one geared towards the realization of children’s rights and a strategic plan that aims at family promotion.