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Rehabilitation of children in conflict with law

Rehabilitation of children in conflict with law
Highlights

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has developed a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for rehabilitation of children in conflict with law...

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has developed a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for rehabilitation of children in conflict with law under the Juvenile Justice System. The said SOP aims to emphasise the cause of rehabilitation and social re-integration by providing for types of institutional care, after care services, foster care and sponsorship to such children.

Every child in conflict with the law shall have the following rights, including but not limited to: a) Humane treatment b) No corporal punishment c) Separation from adult criminals, if detained d) Access to legal assistance e) Bail and release on recognizance f) Privacy g) Diversion, if qualified h) Proportionate judgment i) Restrictions on liberty kept to a desirable minimum j) Automatic suspension of sentence k) Probation, if qualified l) Confidentiality of proceedings m) Right against discrimination n) Constitutional rights .

Studies indicate that the most effective way to find constructive solutions to involvement of children in activities that violate a law is to involve children in the process of rehabilitation and not to consider them as merely ‘trouble makers’ or ‘problem children’ in need of punishment. Recognition of and respect for their rights as human being and as a child is an important first step in this direction.

A “Juvenile” or “Child” means a person who has not completed eighteen years of age. The Madras High Court in March 2017 ruled that a study of the Juvenile Justice Act made it clear that no police officer had been empowered to arrest “a child in conflict with the law” but only to “apprehend” him or her.The Act has empowered the police only to apprehend the child in conflict with the law and produce him or her before the Juvenile Justice Board.

The proviso to section 10 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 makes it very clear that in no case a child alleged to be in conflict with the law shall be placed in a police lock-up or a jail. The new bill will allow minors in the age group of 16-18 to be tried as adults if they commit heinous crimes. The crime will be examined by the Juvenile Justice Board to ascertain if the crime was committed as a 'child' or an 'adult'.

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