2016 December 05 ( Tuesday ) 23:18:39
Prison sentences for juveniles are not a very effective way to fix them. More often for the rehabilitation and integration of difficult teenagers into society, better tools are alternative measures of punishment and socio-psychological rehabilitation. This truth is reflected in human history, as reflected in the documentary film Beyond Detention, shot by the renowned British director Gabriel Menezes in the framework of the project on development of the juvenile justice system in Azerbaijan. This project is implemented by UNICEF, together with local partners and with the financial support of the EU Delegation in Baku.
Public viewing of the film took place in the Four Seasons Hotel on the evening of December 5. The film tells the story of four teenagers.
The history of one of them is an example of callous attitude of judges to the fate of young people, who are not looking at the circumstances which pushed them to crime. For example, a teenage orphan at the age of 14 was sentenced to 9 years in prison for stealing a purse. The appellate court upheld the verdict. The young man thinks so severe punishment is unjust and wishes to regain freedom and to live honestly.
Another teenager was caught on petty theft. But he was lucky and he was sent to compulsory rehabilitation instead of prison. After that he was on the right path.
Another hero - 20-year-old girl, a teenager, ran away from home because of her drinking father and was actually on the street and lived with street children. Desperate mother once saw an ad in the center of psychological rehabilitation of children. The girl was able to get involved in this facility, and return to normal life. She went back to school and successfully completed it and now studies at the University as an engineer-transporter.
In the film, it is hoped that after the completion of this project by UNICEF, the government will continue to finance measures initiated for the development of juvenile justice.
One of the main advisers of the film was a well-known defender of the rights of children, Nazir Guliyev, who untimely deceased in a car accident in August.
The presentation was attended by representatives of the entities that took part in the project on the development of juvenile justice in Azerbaijan, as well as the parliament and civil society organizations.
As the coordinator of UNICEF in Azerbaijan Edward Karvardin noted, today more than a million children are in prison in the world. These children cannot receive education in isolation and are deprived of many things and therefore cannot be formed as a full-fledged personality and often commit crimes again after being liberated from prison.
Therefore, continued Karvardin, children deprived of liberty have their chances of a return to normal life in the future reduced.
He stressed the need to use as much as possible alternative measures against children violating the law.
However, the representative of UNICEF noted "significant increase" in Azerbaijan in the past few years, the importance of understanding the problem and spreading the practice of providing alternative educational opportunities for children.
The head of the EU mission, Ambassador Malena Mard, stressed that the aim of the reforms in the juvenile justice system is to ensure justice for all children.
She spoke in favor of changing preventive measures in the form of arrest and imprisonment by alternative ways of correction and education.
She noted that the reform and improvement of juvenile justice is a process through which not only Azerbaijan, but many Member States of the European Union develop.
The Head of Human Rights and Public Relations Section of the Justice Ministry Faig Gurbanov among the steps taken in the juvenile system in recent years reported the formation of a group of judges in the Baku Court of Grave Crimes, specializing in juvenile cases.
Today, Azerbaijan has two social rehabilitation centers - in Baku and Ganja, where children are placed as an alternative to pre-trial detention and troubled teens are prone to commit crimes.