International Actions

Reinforcement of the civil society capacities on children’s rights, juvenile justice and project management (Tunisia)

After ratifying the International Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, Tunisia adopted a special law for children called the « Child Protection Code » in 1995. However, different reports highlighted that, despite progress, the justice system for children is still inadequate. Our project is part of a programme financed by the European Union aiming at reforming the justice sector in Tunisia and supporting the improvement of the juvenile justice system.

DCI-Belgium, in partnership with ATUDE-DCI Tunisia and with the financial support of UNICEF Tunisia, coordinates a project on the reinforcement of the civil society capacities in the field of children’s rights. The project takes place from 17 October 2016 to 17 March 2017 and includes four field missions in Tunisia.

The main goal of this project is to professionalize the Tunisian civil society through the development of a training programme of capacity reinforcement in the field children’s rights and, more specifically, juvenile justice.

Specific objectives of this project are :
a. To reinforce the civil society capacities in the fields of children’s rights and juvenile justice;
b. To reinforce the civil society capacities in the field of project management.

Main project steps :

a. To analyse the juvenile justice system in Tunisia;
b. To identify the Tunisian civil society training needs in the fields of children’s rights, juvenile justice and project management;
c. To develop a training programme to reinforce the civil society capacities in the fields of children’s rights, juvenile justice and project management;
d. To deliver the training programme on children’s rights, juvenile justice and project management to the civil society organisations working in the youth field;
e. To publish two guidebooks based on the training delivered and to create an Internet platform in order to disseminate the projects results.

For any information, contact Laurent Beauthier (project manager) : laurent.beauthier at defensedesenfants.be

Project for ameliorating the situation of children facing the juvenile justice systems (Africa)


Defense for Children International, in collaboration with the ACPF (African Child Policy Forum, a pan-African organization that fights for the respect of children’s rights), launched a project sought to ameliorate the juvenile justice system, particularly regarding the situation of children deprived of liberty in the African continent.

These two NGO’s organized an international conference in Kampala Uganda) in November 2011 called “The Deprivation of Liberty of Children as a Last Resort Measure”. It provided an overview of juvenile justice in Africa (see the report: «Parvenir à une justice adaptée aux enfants en Afrique») and formulated recommendations (see the « Déclaration de Munyonyo » , written at the end of the conference). The documentary “10” was also presented, a film that shows the cruel reality of children deprived of liberty in Africa. The conference also elaborated on guidelines for a justice system adapted to the needs of children in Africa: « Directives relatives à une action en faveur des enfants dans le système judiciaire en Afrique »which were ratified by the African Committee of Experts on Children’s Rights and Wellbeing.

Following this conference, the African sections of DCI gathered to ensure the monitoring of these final recommendations, to broadcast the notes and conclusions, and to ensure the implementation of the “Guidelines for an Adapted Justice for Children in Africa”, which strengthens collaboration between groups. . Later, project pilots will be jumpstarted in multiple different African countries to try to apply these guidelines.

Among the priorities of the project is also child participation. Thanks to the creation of focus groups of detained children, they will have a voice and they will be able to formulate their own recommendations and claims regarding their confinement. This should also promote their access to citizenship.

Advocating for the access of minors deprived of liberty to a quality education (Africa)


More than a million minors are currently behind bars… However, several international and regional treaties make the confinement a last resort, and only in extraordinary cases are they left with no other option. This measure also has to be as short as possible.

States have to treat children with dignity and have to ensure the respect of their fundamental rights, including the right to an education (articles 28 and 29 of the Convention of the Right of the Child), the right to health (article 24), to familial relationships (article 9), etc. However, many States don’t fulfill these obligations. In many countries, children don’t have access to a fair trial and are not informed about their rights. Some are placed in detention for an undetermined period, often without prior judgment and housed in unhealthy, overpopulated and violent conditions.

DCI-International, in collaboration with IDAY-International, created a project whose goal is to fight against these violations and allows children deprived of liberty to fully practice their fundamental rights. The first step of the project was the organization of two seminars on the right to education of children deprived of liberty in Africa. The end conclusions and recommendations included the need to draft a project proposal in Africa after looking at data and analysis of detention of children.

It is become a question of studying this reality to identify the eventual legislative, political and practical gaps, and to establish a “profile” of children in detention. This overview will also consider these children’s access to education.

The conclusions of this project will be integrated in the “Guide on the Right to Education of Minors in Prison”, destined to raise the government’s awareness on this issue. Finally, a lobbying campaign will be held at an international, national and regional level to remind the States of their obligations concerning children deprived of liberty.