Up Zambia exists to support juveniles in conflict with the law through legal representation, social support and advocacy for a restorative juvenile justice system in Zambia.
Zambia’s juvenile justice system is under-developed and under-resourced, and children suffer as a result. Undikumbukire Project Zambia is working to fill this gap.
The vast majority of juveniles in conflict with the law in Zambia cannot afford a lawyer, and legal aid resources are very limited. Thus, juveniles are often forced to defend themselves alone in court, lacking even a basic understanding of their rights and legal procedure. This can result in overly severe charges, one-sided trials, and weak convictions. On top of this, conditions in Zambian prisons are extremely challenging—and for vulnerable juveniles, even more so.
We are providing various solutions this challenge mostly through our case work and social support programmes. Currently we are implementing various projects to assist juveniles access legal representation and social support. We are also actively advocating for a more restorative juvenile justice system.
Through our Diversion Monitoring Project being supported by UNICEF Zambia, we seek alternative ways to deal with child offending through Diversion. We are also implementing the Rise Again Project which is providing rehabilitative counselling, reintegration, skills training, mentoring and educational support.
Our prison visits reach over 70 juveniles and migrants on a weekly basis providing them with food, warm clothing and other daily necessities to help them cope with the prison situation. This aspect of our work is being supported by various partners including Miracle Life Family Church, House of Cakes and other organisations and individuals.