UNICEF: Improving Mongolia’s juvenile justice system

UNICEF: Improving Mongolia’s juvenile justice system
Provided By: unicef
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, 28 September 2007 – In Ulaanbaatar, the bustling capital of Mongolia, five dishevelled children dart across the dusty pavement and pry open a heavy manhole cover. They slip into a narrow hole deep below the city — for now, this is where these children are living.

No one knows exactly how many street children are living in Mongolia, but estimates in Ulaanbaatar range from as low as 300 to as high as one thousand.

“Poverty is the number one factor sending kids into the streets,” says UNICEF Representative Bertrand Desmoulins. “More often than not, they are victims of domestic violence, abandonment, broken and dysfunctional homes. Ultimately, they may come into conflict with the law, victims of a harsh justice system that is ill prepared to cope with this new reality.”

UNICEF believes that legal reform which will amend the current system and protect children is an urgent priority. Equally important is ensuring that a wide range of social services are established to help prevent crime. As part of an innovative programme, UNICEF is supporting the local government to help divert juveniles from formal court procedures.

To read the full story, visit: http://www.unicef.org/protection/mongolia_41147.html

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