The Child Diversion Programme offices and committees of the Ministry of Justice are now fully operational in all 14 parishes.
The programme seeks to divert children who come in conflict with the law away from the formal criminal justice system.
This is one of the main objectives of the programme and is in line with obligations under the conventions and rights of the child to reduce the number of children institutionalised.
Child diversion parish committees range from seven to 11 persons and host a variety of professionals, including a minister of religion, justice of the peace, children’s officer from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), an education officer, guidance counsellor, and medical practitioner with specialisation in child psychology.
Since the start of the programme, 107 children have been referred, with 91 of the cases being males and 16 females.
Referrals are done through the courts and by the police.