Ortigas, Philippines – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)- Child Protection Section requested the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation to discuss the Center for Restorative Action Program – Barangay Council for the Protection of Children Training as part of the study tour of the Ghanaian Government delegation to the Republic of the Philippines on Inter-Country Adoption and Justice for Children last July 26.
The delegation was composed of justice actors (i.e. Court Manager of the Law Courts, Judge of a gender-based violence court, Judge of a family and juvenile court, and a Programme Specialist at the Judicial Reforms and Projects Department) and the UNICEF representative from Ghana. They were accompanied by UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, Atty. Maria Margarita Ardivilla.
Together with the Center for Restorative Action Team, HLAF Program Officer, Atty. Kristoffer Claudio discussed the CRA Program and how it capacitated the community to properly implement the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act. Atty. Claudio shared the challenges as well as the achievements of the program.
During the open forum, the delegates expressed their interest on how the community diversion and intervention (informal diversion) complement the formal process of the family courts. In the end, the delegates expressed that the sharing was fruitful and that they were able to see how they would improve their own Juvenile Justice System.
The study tour aimed to understand the handling and treatment of children who come in contact with the law from initial contact to after-care and to understand the roles of agencies and actors in the administration of the juvenile justice and welfare system by meeting different agencies from July 25 to July 29.
The Ghanaian Government delegation also met with the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council, the Philippine National Police, two Family Court Judges, Multi-Disciplinary Team including officers from Barangay Council on the Protection for Children, and the National Training School for Boys. They also toured the Quezon City Court and the Molave Youth Home and interacted with the children who were residents and are currently residing in Molave.
 Their names are withheld per Ghanaian judicial protocol.