Strenghtening minors's rights in Mozambique
The solidarity of the Italian prisons

Mozambique, 14 May 2008.

A solidarity campaign involving Italian institutions and  entities was conducted within the framework of the programme to strengthening the rights of minors in Mozambique, carried out by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). In the coming days different means of transport, instruments, furniture, materials for laboratories, clothes for children, staff and for sporting activities will be dispatched from various Italian cities destined for the Centre of Observation and the Educational Centre for minors in conflict with Mozambican law. The UNICRI project (financed by the Italian Government) that created these centres will also bring about the opening of a criminal section of the Juvenile Court.

Since 2005, UNICRI has operated in Mozambique to promote the protection of rights of minors in conflict with the law and their rehabilitation. In this regard activities have been conducted in order to strengthen the institutions, to re-develop the structures for the treatment of minors in conflict with the law and to educate the personnel dealing with juvenile justice. Similarly, UNICRI works to facilitate the family and social rehabilitation of the minors and to develop the network of support.

The Ora d'Aria Association promoted the campaign of collecting material donated by the Penitentiary Administration of Italy. This material, that is still in good condition, is no longer used by the Administration due to internal re-organisation or as a result of changes in internal rules.

The donations came from the Casa circondariale di Rebibbia Nuovo Complesso in Rome and the Provveditorato della Toscana that involved the penitentiary institutions of Prato, Pistoia, Massa, Pisa and Florence. Other donations came from social private organisations, sports centres, half-way houses for minors in conflict with the law and from associations of ex-convicts.

The delivery was made possible thanks to a contribution on the part of the CMC (Corporation of Stonemasons of Ravenna) that have also voluntarily participated in the carrying out of a project for the redevelopment of the centres in Mozambique.

Some prison guards and participants from the photo laboratory founded in the prison have volunteered to document the whole initiative with photographs and videos.

“This initiative expresses the magnitude of the solidarity. Also today Italian prisoners became partners of a project that crosses borders and the walls of prisons to give children a message of hope”, commented the Director of UNICRI, Sandro Calvani.

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