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European Union supports launch of new prosecutor’s guide to children in the criminal justice system and induction diploma for public prosecutions in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, 30 November 2021 -  A new Prosecutor’s Guide to Children in the Criminal Justice System and an Induction Diploma in Public Prosecutions which were developed by Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), with funding from the European Union through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD) were launched today.

Child cases are generally complex and sensitive in nature, and it is necessary to minimise the risk of discrimination and undue stress for children in the criminal justice system.  The Prosecutor’s Guide for Children is an easy-to-read reference tool to assist prosecutors when handling cases involving children who come into the criminal justice system. The Guide aims to increase awareness and understanding of the rights of children in conflict with or in contact with the law.  The one-year Induction Diploma offers a foundational training programme, through comprehensive capacity building and technical assistance for newly recruited prosecutors in Kenya and the region.

The Prosecutor’s Guide for Children and the one-year Induction Diploma, were developed with technical assistance from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Through the European Union’s PLEAD, the overall aim in providing assistance to the development of the Prosecutor’s Guide for Children was to contribute to substantial improvements in the provision of access to justice for children, and promote a more child-friendly criminal justice system in Kenya. 

Delighted to officially launch the two publications, European Union Ambassador to Kenya,  Ms. Henriette Geiger in attendance at the launch said, “The protection of children’s rights is an important priority for the European Union, a guiding principle for the action of EU institutions and bodies, and the EU member states.” Ms. Geiger added, “The rights of the child are part of human rights: rights that states must respect, protect and fulfil. The European Union will continue to promote, protect and fulfil all rights of all children globally and in Kenya.”

In support of both publications, on the back of World Children’s Day, Justice Smokin C. Wanjala SCJ said, “I personally want to congratulate the ODPP for this gallant journey. We at the judiciary are excited to encounter professional prosecutors before us.”

Explaining that training of such professionals on child rights and child-sensitive approaches is critical to ensure that the rights of  children in conflict with the law, as well as child victims and witnesses of crime, are upheld, UNODC Deputy Regional Director, Ms. Sylvie Bertrand commented, “The Prosecutor’s Guide for Children and the Induction Diploma bears testament to the vital partnership between the UNODC and the ODPP  through PLEAD in strengthening child protection systems to help children access fair justice systems.” Ms. Bertrand further applauded the ODPP for developing the one-year Induction Diploma, aimed at equipping would-be prosecutors with the necessary 21st century knowledge, attitude, attributes and skills that are aligned to national  and international best practices,  to effectively address emerging areas in crime. 

Hosting the official launch of the publications, Director of Public Public Prosecutions, Mr. Noordin Haji commented that children should be protected to prevent victimization, and be treated with compassion, respect and dignity in accordance with the rights enshrined in various regional and international treaties including  the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Mr. Haji said, “It hoped that when fully implemented, the Prosecutor’s Guide for Children will contribute to substantial improvements in the provision of access to justice for children and promote a more child-friendly criminal justice system in Kenya.” Moreover, Mr. Haji’s believes the Induction Diploma will go a long way in realizing the life-long learning commitment that is anchored in the ODPP Excellence Charter. He added, “The Induction Diploma will provide opportunities for all newly-employed prosecutors, to learn and grow in their careers, and blaze the trail in prosecutorial work across the region.”

Additional documents also produced for dissemination to prosecutors and children include four child-friendly justice system posters, children’s guidelines fact-sheets, notebooks and sketchbooks with illustrations for children.


Note to Editors:

The European Union’s Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD) is a partnership between the Government of Kenya, and the United Nations aimed at improving the efficiency of Kenya’s criminal justice system and increasing the use of alternatives to imprisonment. 



For more information, contact:

Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions -  

European Union –

UN Office on Drugs and Crime –