Name: Zaid Hamdi / Legal adviser, Mokhalad Jameel / Grants Officer, Qays Ouzi / Focal Point.
Department: LCN / Juvenile Justice Project.
Subject: workshop training - Analyzing causes crime of child/youth in Basra and ways to prevent it.
Month: Oct 26, 2021
On October 26, 2021, the LCN a training workshop for police officers in Basra. The workshop was conducted in coordination with Basra Police Media Directorate and Crime Prevention Council.
The workshop training was about “Analyzing causes of child/youth in Basra and ways to prevent it”. This training is one of the LCN’s activities in access to justice project in Basra and funded by UNICEF in partnership with Save the Children and MHF. The Basra Police Media Director, Brigadier Bassim Ghanem Hanoon trained the attendees in the workshop.
The training started at 10:30 AM. The workshop was attended by six police officers in Basra, Brigadier Fadel Khalaf Laftah, director of Basra juvenile police; Brigadier General Loay Abd Al- Amir, director of Albalda police station; Brigadier Ismail Kadim, director of anti-drug police; Brigadier Rafea Bandar, director of community police; Lieutenant Rusul Salam, an officer in the community police; Doctor Qays Nasser, director of the Studies Center in Basra University, staff of the LCN and MHF.
After welcoming and introducing the attendees, Mr. Bassim Ghanem gave a brief presentation on the causes of child/youth common crimes in general. Then the officers each according to their specialization participated in the training. They explained the causes of juvenile delinquency in Basra and the common crimes through their field work. The attendees agreed that the most common reasons of juvenile delinquency is family disintegration resulting of weak economic situation of these families. There are no plans from the central or local government to raise the standard of living, education and health of these poor families. Therefore, family disintegration leads the juvenile to drop out of school and marry at an early age for girls and work at an early age. The attendees indicated that the percentage of crimes committed by juveniles who live in random areas, which increased in Basra governorate after 2003, where many other southern governorates came to it in addition to the displaced from the northern governorates after 2014 is the highest of the percentage of crimes committed by other juveniles.
The attendees agreed that the most common types of crimes among juveniles are theft and beggary, which are the most common. Where it is considered a recurring and organized crime, and the juvenile accused in it is a victim of his family, which forces him to profess beggary and drugs (use or trafficking), but the latter is less than the previous one and is generally much less than what is circulated in social media and Media Channels, but as a crime it is a threat to society as a whole. After that, Mr. (Bassim Ghanem) touched on ways to address the causes of juvenile delinquency and the role of government institutions. He proposed the idea of activating and coordinating the work of the Crime Prevention Council, which was formed in Basra under the chairmanship of the Governor of Basra and the membership of a number of government departments for the purpose of setting up a mechanism for the prevention and reduction of crimes. Due to the importance of the role of this council, the LCN decided to allocate the first advocacy campaign within the juvenile justice project to activate the work of this council and invite the official bodies that are members of it to coordinate and prepare a plan to prevent juveniles from committing crimes. The workshop ended at 1:00 PM and it was agreed on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 a date to conduct an advocacy campaign.
Lessons learned from the training workshop:
1-There is a clear problem facing the Juvenile Court and the Juvenile Police in implementing the Juvenile Welfare Law in accordance with the standards that take into consideration the interests of the juvenile, as there are no tools for this implementation on the ground (such as shelters and special detention centers for juveniles and specialized staff to manage these centers) despite the existence of these institutions in the law.
2- The absence of coordination and randomness in the work of local government institutions that deal with juveniles, for example, there are health centers for addiction treatment in Basra, but the strange thing is that the rest of the official authorities and citizens do not know that they exist.
3- The necessity of having official statistics showing the types of juvenile crimes, the places in which they are frequent, the number of those who have left school, as well as statistics about juveniles who work at an early age and married girls under legal age.
4- There is a need to raise social awareness through social awareness and advocacy campaigns to reduce juvenile delinquency.