The Union for the Protection of Juveniles in Lebanon was founded on the 12th of February, 1936 by Messrs. Presidents Alfred Naccache and Sami El-Solh, Professor Philippe Bianquis and Father Andr?le Genissel. (Ministry of Interior receipt N?15). It was recognized of Public Utility by Decree N?9/EB dated 17-10-1939, confirmed by Decree N?169 dated 15-4-1978. It has six offices in the Palaces of Justice of the six governorates and a Reformatory for Juveniles in Fanar.

In each office, there are many social counselors who study the files of the juveniles:

1- Exposed to danger (ill-treatment, homelessness, carelessness, sexual or physical abuse, moral violence?
2- Appearing in courts for violation of laws (robbery, murder attempt, pick pocketing, beating, harming?

Whereas the subject of today’s meeting is to think over juveniles? ill-treatment, we shall first define the general concept of ill-treatment, and then present the intervention method in ill-treatment cases and the role of all involved parties.

  1. General concept of ill-treatment
     

  2. Role of the social counselor in social associations:
    2-1- Before reporting
    2-2- During reporting
    2-3- After reporting

     

  3. Role of the social representative in the Union for Juveniles Protection
     

  4. Role of the public prosecutor
     

  5. Role of the Police
     

  6. Role of the juvenile court judge
     

  7. Judicial follow-up method:
    7-1- First stage: social follow-up
    7-2- Second stage: judicial follow-up

 

  1. General concept of ill-treatment:

    Ill-treatment is every carelessness or scolding of the child, having dangerous consequences on his physical and psychological growth: ??br>
    1-1- Physical violence: all violence intentionally exercised on a juvenile leading to the juvenile harming (burns, beating with sticks?

    1-2- Chronic carelessness: (malnutrition, homelessness?

    1-3- Sexual exploitation: (sexual molestations, sexual abuse?

    1-4- Psychological violence: (terrifying and intimidating the child, social isolation, marginalization, ridiculing the child?

     

  2. Role of the social counselor in social associations:

    2-1- Before reporting:

    2-1-1- Watching the child that we suspect is exposed to ill-treatment

    2-1-2- Listening carefully to the child and understanding him

    2-1-3- Psychological assistance to the child and his family

    2-1-4- Orienting the child and his family to neighboring health and social centers able to provide necessary assistance to the child

    2-1-5- Calling the social representative ??in the Union for the Protection of Juveniles and informing him of all executed contacts and pieces of evidence that he might need.

    ?? Children victims of ill-treatment that did not receive psychological and social assistance lose self-confidence and trust in others. This situation might impede them from integrating their surrounding and might push them to neglect it. The child exposed to ill-treatment is always silent which affects his psychological condition because he loses his surrounding’s ideal and misses adults love responsible for his growth and development.

    ?? Address: “The Union for the Protection of Juveniles in Lebanon?br>Headquarters- Justice Palace - Beirut
    Tel: (01) 427973


    2-2- During reporting:

    2-2-1- Psychological support to the child and his family during the follow-up period
    2-2-2- Watching the child, to what extent he is influenced and the possible negative consequences resulting in self harm
    2-2-3- Coordinating with the social representative in the Union for the Protection of Juveniles
    2-2-4- Building confidence with the child, helping him to tell what he experienced and assuring that we believe him and will help *
    2-2-5- Building confidence with the child’s parents and explaining to them the judicial follow-up method with simplified words driving them to support their child, understand that he is facing difficult feelings and situations and calm him

    2-3- After reporting:

    2-3-1- Social and psychological assistance to the child and his parents
    2-3-2- Putting the child and his parents under psychological treatment, with a children’s psychotherapist for the child
    2-3-3- If the person responsible for the child’s ill-treatment was convicted and served his sentence, preparing and helping the child and his family to face the new situation when the responsible is free.

    * We shall not promise the child that what he tells us will remain secret because if intervention is to be through the court, the child will be obliged to present his situation to the social representative and to the investigator.

     

  3. Role of the social representative in the Union for Juveniles Protection concerning ill-treatment cases

    The social representative is a social worker who is present with and assists the juvenile in all judicial follow-up stages.

    His main mission is to:
    3-1- Conduct a social study and attach it to the juvenile’s file
    3-2- Write down his remarks and opinion over the risks facing the juvenile
    3-3- Inform the juvenile and his family of all judicial follow-up stages to prepare the juvenile to cooperate and be comfort and to help him face his situation and the person who might have ill-treated him
    3-4- Explain to the juvenile court judge the juvenile’s situation and suggest solutions helping the minor and his family
    3-5- Ask the judge or the concerned authority to charge a medical comity with the juvenile’s checkup and medical examination as well as medical and psychological reports (we ask for the mandate of Child of Lebanon)
    3-6- Push the family and the juvenile’s surrounding to help the minor and find adequate solutions for his situation
    3-7- Inform the parents that they have the right to charge a lawyer if they wish to take legal action against the aggressor
    3-8- Make contact with associations that can receive the minor exposed to ill-treatment (if the aggressor is a member of the family or of the close surrounding)
    3-9- Call medical centers that can provide psychological assistance and support to the minor and to his family (treatment for the child and his parents) to avoid psychological negative consequences that might have chronic impact
    3-10- Assess the juvenile’s situation after the judicial follow-up is over and submit reports to the court
    3-11- Follow the juvenile’s advance in psychological treatment with the concerned center, physician or psychotherapist.
    3-12- Help the juvenile continue his life normally through continuous social assistance in order to rebuild self-confidence and help the family members overcome the experience and reach a phase where each member is able to play his role and the social worker is not needed anymore.

     

  4. Role of the public prosecutor

    4-1- Receiving complaint and reporting
    4-2- Assessing the situation and asking for additional information
    4-3- Deciding to open a file or to keep the complaint
    4-4- Taking necessary fast measures to protect juveniles exposed to danger (for example: deciding to put the minor exposed to danger quickly in a social association) *
    4-5- Charging a medical comity by doing a medical examination to the juvenile and submitting related reports
     

  5. Role of the police

    5-1- Protecting the juvenile exposed to direct danger
    5-2- Conducting an investigation, listening to the juvenile victim and questioning the aggressor
    5-3- Transferring the investigation course to the public prosecutor
     

  6. Role of the juvenile court judge

    6-1- Ensuring the protection of the juvenile (judicial protection file)
    6-2- Following the victim juvenile’s file
    6-3- Coordinating with the social representative in the Union for the Protection of Juveniles
    6-4- Taking protection measures

    * Article 25 of law no. 422/2002:
    The juvenile is considered threatened in the following cases:
    1- If he was found in an environment exposing him to exploitation, threatening his health, safety, ethics or conditions of raising him.
    2- If he was exposed to sexual abuse or physical violence exceeding the limits of what is allowed by custom as a manner of harmless disciplining.
    3- If he was found begging or homeless.
    The juvenile is considered a beggar, by this law, if he practices professional begging for almsgiving by any means. He is considered homeless if he left his house to live on the streets and on public places or if he did not have a house and was found in the aforementioned case.

     

  7. Judicial follow-up method

    Reporting: is to report information related to a child exposed to offense to the concerned authority (police, public prosecutor’s office, an office of “The Union for the Protection of Juveniles? the juvenile court judge).

    1- First stage: social follow-up
    When we suspect that a child is exposed to ill-treatment (carelessness, homelessness?, we notify the Union for the Protection of Juveniles, which shall conduct the social studies. If the child’s surrounding is cooperating, we refer to the social protection through the Ministry of Social Affairs or any authorized center to find a center that receives and takes care of him.

    2- Second stage: judicial follow-up
    The social protection is not anymore sufficient when the juvenile was previously exposed to a direct and dangerous aggression particularly if a member of his family is the aggressor. In this case, we resort to reporting through the public prosecutor’s office or directly to the juvenile court judge in order to have judicial protection.

    To whom shall we report the case?
    To the police, the public prosecutor’s office, the juvenile court judge or the office of “The Union for the Protection of Juveniles? through its social representative.

    Who can report?
    Pursuant to article 26 of law no. 422/2002, any person knowing that the juvenile* is exposed to ill-treatment:
    - Persons dealing with children: physicians, teachers, and social workers?br>- Parents or the custodian of the minor
    - The minor himself

    What shall we report?
    Every suspicious behavior or remark that might be ill-treatment, carelessness or deprivation for the minor

What are the difficulties that the child and his family may be suffering from due to reporting?
First, reporting aims to protect the juveniles not to punish the aggressor. However, reporting renders the situation difficult to the minor exposed to ill-treatment and to his family. The minor might feel guilty thinking that he is responsible for the violence he is exposed to, be ashamed, afraid, depressed, and furious or be unable to face the situation.
The parents might be ashamed of not being able to protect their child.

* A paragraph of article 26 of law no. 422/2002
Any notification to the adequate authority, aware by its status or its profession of the situation of the child exposed to danger, is not considered disclosure of a professional secret and is not subject to the penal code provisions in the cases specified in article 25 of this law.

 

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