Source: (2002) Revised Draft Background paper. International Conference, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. June 17-19.

According to the authors of this essay, young people around the world are more likely to be victimized and to become involved in delinquent behavior and to break the law than all other age groups in society. With respect to juvenile justice and the age of criminal responsibility, countries vary widely in their definitions of “youth" and in how they deal with young people who commit crimes. Against this backdrop, Shaw and Tshiwula look at young offenders, youth in conflict with the law, and youth at risk. They focus on how local government and community institutions and organizations in Africa can assist young people, especially those at risk and in conflict with the law, to prevent them from criminal offending.