December 23, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board Sierra Leone, Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, has disclosed that the crime rate among Juvenile was on the increase in the country, and that over two hundred and thirty-one (231) of them were currently in court for various offences.
She made the statement on Tuesday 20th December, 2015 at their Lamina Sankoh Office during a press conference in which she further disclosed that the Legal Aid Board was going to dedicate the coming 2017 year to child rights; especially those were selling cold water, plastics and other items in the streets of Freetown.
She said the Board has realised that all those children selling in the Streets were staying with foster parents, who had taken them from their biological parents in the provinces with the promise that they would be sent to school in the city but could not.
She said they would also be working with the Drivers Union of Sierra Leone to make sure that they have fixed age for apprentices- at least age seventeen and above.
She added that they would make sure that all apprentices have at least attempt the Basic Education and Certificate Examinations before they could be allowed to work.
She disclosed that the highest crime committed in the year 2016 was larceny and that most of the culprits were youth of age of 17 to 25 years, hence they have taken several measures to address the situation by engaging the young people in their respective communities and sensitise them to stay away from crimes.
She further stated that they have also formed and launched the citizen’s bureau, which comprises stakeholders including traditional heads, councilors and others, who would be provided with paralegal training about how to handle and settle matters peacefully in their communities instead of taking them to court.
“The Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board (LAB) is an independent and non-profit making organisation established by an Act of Parliament in May 2012 with the aim of promoting justice in the country by providing free legal representation for the poor,” she said.