Creating a child friendly legal advice desk


(Tobias Eigen) #1

@chiko sent the below to the network email address. Chiko Malama works with World Wide Community Care Development in Zambia.

with reference to the above mentioned subject, we are kindly requesting any organisation that could help us fund this project or partner with us. sincerely yours Malama chiko coordinator worldwide community Care development

Have any members created such an advice desk who can give some pointers, or describe your experience on what works/doesn’t work?

@chiko can you tell us some more about your idea? What are the opportunities you see? What makes a child friendly legal advice desk especially suitable for your community at this moment? Besides funding, what are the challenges and risks you face?

(Chiko Malama) #2

childrens rights are the most violated right in our community and children have no voice or platform to speak for themselves. Currently there is an increase in child abuses cases, child physical abuse cases,child maintenance cases,child neglect, child toture and above all child marriages which are on increase and this needs our concerted effort to avert the situation,.

(Namuchana Mushabati) #3

Morning Chiko,

Having worked on Gender Based Violence for a decade now, and looking at your proposal, I would like you to explain further on how this will work. I agree with you that the minors in Zambia are the most abused, especially in the areas of defilement (Child rape) and Child neglect/failure to provide necessities while reporting on the other hand is an area which needs quiet some work as either people dont have knowledge on the reporting procedure or there are some cultural aspects that hinder one from reporting a perpetrator of violence who maybe a relative/someone close to them.

Further, just as an example, Youth friendly corners, which are spaces for young people to obtain information on their sexuality/Sexual and Reproductive Health are not doing well in Zambia as only a few young people can access them due to lack of information and also there is usually an adult face to talk to the young people so most of them shun going to the corners. This scenarios maybe the reality to your proposal of creating the Child friendly Legal advice desks so I am interested in learning about your approach.

Further, how will you address the risk of advising a minor on his/her rights and legal options and they end up standing up against their parents/guardians as they feel empowered enough to threaten the perpetrators/parents/guardians. Just a thought there.


@chiko sounds like a worthy case. Unfortunately I can not help in terms of funding but if you need some assistance in terms of manpower kindly do let me know, I will gladly volunteer my time. I currently work for a lawfirm within Lusaka and I see too many cases of vulnerable persons especially women and children having their rights infringed because of lack of knowledge.

(Chiko Malama) #5

Thank you very much Mrs Bwalya for your gesture. Thank you very much and God bless you.


@chiko you can reach me on my email or mobile.

(Chiko Malama) #7

Thank you very much madam,i have gotten your contact details,i will get intouch soon.

(Tobias Eigen) #8

I’m happy to see the knowledge sharing and networking in action on display in this topic! :sunflower: Do keep us posted here as your project evolves. Like @namuchanamushabati writes, it would help fellow members seeking to help you @chiko to learn more specifics.

Note: @chiko and @MSBWALYA I have removed your contact details from your posts. Keep in mind that this is a public forum where we are collectively building up a base of shared knowledge for the benefit of those who follow (including our future selves!). You never know what the future holds and if you will always want to have your contacts on display here. Keep in mind you can always keep in touch here on the forum - directly by personal message :email: or in a public topic like this one.

(Michael Otto) #9

Thanks for sharing, @chiko! A while back we had a similar post by @Juves in Rwanda about engaging youth as paralegals themselves. You may find some of the ideas shared relevant to your situation. You can find that discussion here:

Perhaps @Chinga, @balkrishnamainali, or @shaila have other suggestions as well.

(Shaila Tieken) #10

Dear @chiko

I strongly agree on the need of child-friendly legal advice for children whose rights are violated. Standing up to report is hard, let alone navigating through the system. I am interested in how the advice desk will help children after the advice is provided. I also have concerns that @namuchanamushabati expressed above. The reporting in Indonesia’s child protection cases is often challenged when the victims are dependent on, or closely related with, the perpetrators.

In Indonesia, we’ve been advocating for a referral system in the local governments, so that protection efforts also come with social assistance to empower children and their families. I’m not familiar with Zambia’s child protection landscape, but engaging with existing services might work in providing the much-needed protection. I believe that violence against children happened as a result of interlacing issues that need to be addressed comprehensively. Aside from changing the norms in children’s treatment and direct protection through legal mechanisms, providing services and assistance is also crucial.

We cannot help with the funding but please let me know if I can help personally. We mostly do research and currently, we’re supporting national VACS, so we have materials on ethical considerations in working with children or response mechanism :smiley: good luck @chiko !

(Chiko Malama) #11

Great! to hear that from you shila, any form of help will make a huge difference. Well, we are equally mindful of some challenges we are going to encounter especially with regards norms or traditions within the communities, more often in zambian tradition adults demand a certain level of respect from children, to others; for children to tell them that what there doing is the violation of children’s rights is uncceptable, non discloser of anything bad that happens within the family, for example the uncle having sex with a niece it might be kept as a family secret for fear of dainting the family name or facing the wrath of the law, these are among many factors that we are taking into consideration. In zambia we mostly work with community development or other NGOs that may have particular skill on that area. Shila l must make mention that we shall take our time to teach our paralegals (children) on their responsbility as stipulated in african charter, how to talk to adults and what is expected of them, it will mean sensitizing community members and community leaders so that there aware of the project.We are extremely thankful for the guesture shaila, you can kindly email me the said materials


@Tobias noted with thanks.

(Chinga Govhati) #13

Yes indeed! Please share titbits and perhaps some documents as well!

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