Kurdistani Police and Children: Policing Future (Great) Citizens

By Ala Jaff.  Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Kurdistani Police and Children: Policing Future (Great) Citizens, Not Today’s Criminals

While the police services in Kurdistan are moving at groundbreaking speed in terms of police “reform”, there is still much needed progress when dealing with children offenders and children as victims and in upholding their basic human rights. Equally requiring police attention are children as witnesses.

Whilst one article cannot possibly address all issues surrounding police reform given the complexity of political, economical and social issues in Kurdistan, I will however attempt to touch base on some critical issues and points to spark much needed debate around the issues of child protection by the police and the Criminal Justice Systems (CJS).

Children and youth (juveniles) are a “distinctively unique” type of offenders in that they are going through various forms of maturity, psychological, sexual and physiological changes, which must be handled appropriately and by trained professional. In times of crisis, where most juvenile offenders lack proper social order, structure and at times, parental guidance (just to name a few), the most critical part of society that must not fail them is the CJS.

As an important feature and arm of the CJS, the Kurdistani Police must take a first step towards developing a specialized Unit that deals specifically with juveniles. The police officers within this Unit need to be selected professionals who must be properly educated, trained and appropriately sensitive in dealing with both, children as offenders, and children as victims.

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