Vocational Education and Training for Young Prisoners

Vocational Education and Training for Young Prisoners

Photo Tatoli/Egas Cristóvão

DILI, 28 april 2023 (TATOLI) – The Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)  in Timor-Leste, Bilal Durrani, highlighted the need to legislate a decree on an Open Regime Regulation that allows young prisoners to have access to technical vocational education.The statement was made after the visit of Bilal Durrani and the Minister of Justice, Tiago Amaral Sarmento, to Becora Prison, Dili.

Durani said that their organization supported the Ministry of Justice in the elaboration of a proposal on an Open Regime Regulation for presentation to the Council of Ministers.

According to Durrani, the diploma aims to introduce an “open regime program, which will provide young prisoners with the opportunity to access formal and professional training opportunities outside the prison environment”.

The UNICEF representative noted that “young prisoners live, under punishment, being deprived of liberty, but also deprived of their basic rights. Many of them live with a heavy mental burden thinking about their families and their future,” said Durrani.

In this regard, the director recalled that, in 2022, UNICEF had assessed the mental health of detainees, adding that “after finding, at the time, there was, in that respect, cause for concern, UNICEF began to work closely with the Ministry of Justice in developing guidelines for improving life skills and creating conditions for solving mental health problems and providing psychosocial support programs for young people”, he said.

Durrani concluded, noting that plans were underway to train 30 young people in auto mechanics, computers, and welding – activities that, in his opinion, “will help them with much-needed rehabilitation and prepare them for reintegration into their communities”.

The Minister of Justice also considered that providing training opportunities to young people would enable them to reconsider their reintegration into society and redesign their future.



Journalist: Domingos Piedade Freitas

Editor: Isaura Lemos de Deus

Translation: José  Belarmino De Sa


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