Under the child protection theme, Save the Children, Bhutan Country Office is currently engaged in a project supported by Save the Children, Italy aimed at “Strengthening Child Justice System in Bhutan” for a three year period. The overall objective of the project is to improve the life conditions of Bhutanese juvenile population through enhancement of the child justice system and ensuring adequate protection and promotion of children’s rights. The project seeks to complement the efforts of the Royal Government of Bhutan and Civil Society Organizations to help bring about a safer environment for children in difficult circumstances and rehabilitate children who come in conflict with the law. Towards this end, Save the Children is partnering with various stakeholders to achieve diverse objectives ranging from strengthening institutional capacity; to improving juvenile crime prevention program; to providing access to child friendly spaces and child friendly police procedures; to providing access to child friendly court/bench; and to providing access to rehabilitation centre and aftercare services.
Over the course of the three year period, Save the Children in partnership with the implementing partners would be providing assistance in achieving the outputs outlined in the National Plan of Action for Child Protection. As part of the activities planned under the project, SC Italy organized a study visit to Rome (19th – 23rd January 2015), Italy for representatives from the stakeholder agencies in Bhutan to observe SC Italy’s experience in Juvenile Justice System. The group comprised of Child Justice Specialist and representatives from the organizations that will be involved in the setting up of the child bench, establishment of information management system, construction of the pretrial detention facility, protected interview room and rehabilitation centre for children and others responsible for ensuring an effective child justice system. Child Justice Specialist shared that the visits were made to institutions in Italy that have functional similarities with institutions in Bhutan and learn from their experience in juvenile justice administration.
“The visit on the whole was very informative and worthwhile as the participants were able to observe the working of the juvenile justice system in Italy and also appreciate SC Italy’s approach to children in contact with the law. The visits to the different institutions provided us with a perspective of how each of our respective partners could play a pivotal role in bringing about meaningful change in the lives of our children, said the Child Justice Specialist.”