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Draft juvenile justice law scheduled for CoM debate

Dili Weekly - February 4, 2015

Paulina Quintao – Deputy Justice Ministry Ivo Jorge Valente said the draft Juvenile Justice Law has been completed and has been scheduled for debate at the Council Ministry (CoM) prior to being send to the National Parliament for further deliberation.

Deputy Minister Valente added the law itself was not difficult to draft but he is worried about its eventual implementation because of a lack of human resources.

"For example many laws have been approved but that have not been executed due to our human resources and infra-structure. We were too quick to approve the laws," said Deputy Minister Valente in his office in Colmera, Dili. He added lack of judicial human resources will hamper the implementation of the law.

He said also when the law is passed by the National Parliament and promulgated by the President, all entities will be responsible for its implementation, but in particular those ministries who were involved in its development including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Solidarity, Education Ministry, Secretary of State for Vocational Training Policy and Employment (SEPFOPE).

Children's rights representative Ivonia Martins said it is important to have this law so children at risk can be protected from violence. She added that despite Timor-Leste getting independence for almost 15 years, the country still does not have laws that protect children from violence.

"We urge the leadership to prioritize the Juvenile Justice Law so it can act as an umbrella for other laws to protect our children because they are the future of the nation."

She said currently many children smoke, drink, watch pornography, sell goods in the middle of the night and that is because there isn't a legal basis to protect them.

Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/children-youth/13157-draft-juvenile-justice-law-scheduled-for-com-debate