Meet our IBJ Youth Initiative in Togo!

On the coast of Western Africa, a young visionary from Togo launched an innovative project to transform the lives of incarcerated youth.

Vanessy Aryitey

Juvenile Justice Project, 2020

Vanessa Aryitey

Togo, 2020

Thandeka, 20, was a third year student in private law in Togo, and worked as a legal assistant at the Department of protection for human rights protection of the Collective of Associations Against Impunity in Togo (CACIT), and as the general secretary of the International Association of Legal Students – Togolese Branch (AIEJ-TOGO). Having been passionate about human rights her whole life she has expanded on this to focus her attention on supporting minors in conflict. This project had three primary goals which were intended to ensure that youth have access to lawyers, to mobilize a movement of young people and to eventually lead to government criminal justice reform. The first goal was to offer judicial assistance to five minors that are currently in conflict with the law (at least two girls), secondly to enroll 10 young people in reinforcing access to justice for minors in conflict with the law, and to try to get these actions to receive government attention leading to more favorable and efficient government measures. Vanessa accomplished providing legal advice to children in conflict with the law, conducting advocacy meetings with state authorities, providing 5 children with legal aid (4 of whom have been released), and organizing workshops on juvenile justice for students.