Strategies for dealing with adolescent violence and crime

February 6, 2018

Strategies for dealing with adolescent violence and crime

The prevention strategies are identified as fundamental to face and reduce the rates of violence and the commission of crimes in adolescents and young people, according to the presentations made by representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Institutional Transparency, UNICEF, ProgettoMondo Mlal and experts.

The speakers; the Vice-Minister of Justice and Fundamental Rights, Cecilia Urquieta; the representative of UNICEF in Bolivia, Sunah Kim, of ProgettoMondo Mlal, Roberto Simoncelli, the expert Antonio Andrés Pueyo of the University of Barcelona and the expert in Juvenile Criminal Justice, Yana Rojas; gave a lecture entitled “Risk and protection factors to prevent the commission of crimes in adolescents and young people” held in the facilities of the State Vice-Presidency.

Representatives from some twenty institutions participated, including: the Departmental Prosecutor’s Office of La Paz, the Plurinational Public Defense Service, the Departmental Justice Tribunal of La Paz, the Departmental Technical Institute, the Ombudsman’s Office, the Ombudsman for Children and Adolescents, the Departmental Social Management Service, the Departmental Police, the Ministry of Health and Sports, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Government and the Ministry of Defense.

In addition to representatives from Save the Children International, Tutator Foundation, Construir Foundation, staff from the Centers for Reintegration and Social Orientation, Defense of Children International, Parliamentary Network for Children and Adolescents of Bolivia, Major University of San Andrés and Private Universities.


On the occasion, Vice Minister Urquieta spoke about the prevention of relapse into crime and the progress of the Adolescent Criminal System. According to the authority, restorative justice for young people is making progress in the country, since pre-trial detention in this sector was reduced by 70 percent from 2015 to 2017.

“Young people can have a second chance,” he added.

He considered it fundamental to approach restorative justice for young people from a social point of view because “it is not a political issue” but a responsibility that involves several state institutions.

He said that prevention generates economic savings for the State and social savings to promote better development of society.

He invited organizations, institutions and society to join in this “great task” in order to implement restorative justice in all its breadth. “Less prisons and more community,” he said.

Budgets and costs for implementation

UNICEF’s Sunah Kim identified the budget issue as “fundamental” to implementing strategies and actions for the prevention of violence and adolescent crime.

“Therefore, costs do matter otherwise it will be efforts that remain in good intentions,” she added.

According to Kim, for many years the South American region has maintained the policy of “a hard hand for adolescents”, which does not work.

“In economic terms, it’s more expensive to do research, to have adolescent centres than to address prevention,” he added.

He said that in order to have a less violent country, it is necessary to focus on preventive education as a strategic key to better development in children and adolescents.

“We hope that the efforts being made by the Ministry of Justice and Institutional Transparency, UNICEF Bolivia and ProgettoMondo Mlal will contribute to generating effective public policies for the prevention of violence affecting children, adolescents and women,” she said.

In turn, Rojas, an expert in Juvenile Criminal Justice, liaised with the Minister of Justice and Progetto Mondo Mlal, and spoke about the progress of the Juvenile Criminal System being implemented in Bolivia.

Written by, posted on  February 06, 2018



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