Child Justice in South Africa: Children's Rights under Construction (Conference Report)

This publication encapsulates the range of discussions and debates that occurred during the conference. It also serves as a record of the proceedings that can be widely diesseminated to provide further insight and awareness on child justice developments thus far and the challenges still facing children who come into conflict with the law.

The Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA) and the Child Justice Alliance, which the Children’s Rights Project co-ordinate,  convened a conference entitled “Child Justice in South Africa: Children’s rights under construction” in August 2006. The purpose of the conference was to take stock of the situation relating to the criminal justice system for children in conflict with the law. Although South Africa has been on the brink of new law for child offenders for the last few years, such law reform has not as yet become a reality and children who commit crime are still treated in a manner that is similar to the way adults are treated in the criminal justice system.  The conference therefore presented an ideal opportunity to reflect on the developments in child justice and to debate how best the findings of emerging research can be used to improve the delivery of services to children charged with criminal offences.