Justice for Children (JCT) is a non-governmental organisation which was established in December 2002 as a Trust under Trust Deed Number MA1300/02. The organisation was registered with the Law Society of Zimbabwe on the 26th of February 2004 to provide legal aid to orphans and vulnerable children below the age of 18 years. Its lawyers are registered both with the High Court of Zimbabwe and the Law Society of Zimbabwe. It was later registered with the Department of Social Services as a Private Voluntary Organisation under PVO07/12.
The organisation was formed in view of the rising levels of poverty which were accompanied by escalating legal fees making it impossible for many to access justice. The HIV/ AIDS pandemic also contributed to problems which were being faced by children which included orphanhood, child headed families and denial of child rights in cases of inheritance. This also necessitated support of children as they go through the justice system as children in conflict with the law. Further, through constant interface with the law, the organisation noted that there were various child rights violations that are encountered by children as they try to access justice especially on their own. JCT also realised that there was a gap among children and their communities concerning child protection laws and the functionality of the justice delivery system. In addition, the organisation realised that there was need to participate in the development of existing laws and systems in Zimbabwe especially when it comes to the rights of children in comparison to regional and international laws. To this end the organisation was established to address all these problems through its three departments which are:
- The Legal Aid Department
- The Legal Education Department
- The Research, Advocacy and Lobby Department.
The organisation initially started in Harare, where its Head Office is currently located and later established offices in Bulawayo and Mutare. Currently the organisation has expanded its services to the rural populace in districts which include, Bulilima, Gokwe, Binga, Rushinga, Mutasa, Buhera, Zvimba, Mwenezi, Mt Darwin, Shamva, Mazowe and Mudzi.
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