Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (2000)
The centrality of the court in the juvenile justice process highlights the perception of this institution in
Implementing the JJSO
Since the JJSO came into force in 2000, there have been a number of positive developments implemented in its name:
The powers to conduct juvenile courts have been conferred to judges across the country.
Separate cells for children have been established in various central jails in order to separate children from adults.
Some of the national NGOs have started providing legal assistance to the children, while other agencies have worked with the NCCWD to build capacity of the relevant authorities.
Another initiative seeks to assist
NCCWD initiated a process of preparing draft rules for facilitating the Provincial Governments. Draft rules were prepared in a National Consultation among the stakeholders from Federal, Provincial Government and non-governmental organizations on 19th – 20th February 2001 and have subsequently been forwarded to the relevant authorities.
A Ten Year Perspective Plan with Rs. 4.947 million has been developed for the period (2001 – 2011) for implementation of the JJSO 2000. In addition to this, another further allocation of Rs. 0.17 million has been set aside for the identification of needs / problems with regard to implementation of the acts / Ordinances / other instruments concerning social welfare including children.
Poor Awareness and Implementation of the JJSO
“The law is there but the environment needed for its implementation doesn’t exist. It’s the callous attitude of the whole society towards children and the government is not interested in improving their plight.”
Despite the progress mentioned above and the funds set aside in the Ten Years Perspective Plan, only a few of the promises made within the JJSO have been put into action, and violations of children’s basic rights continue to occur in many districts. A fundamental flaw in the JJSO has also been exposed, namely that it is not operationally retroactive, and so children whose cases took place before the Ordinance was passed (pre-2000) are not entitled to any protection under it. It is because of this oversight that there are still some 50 children on death row and numerous instances of minors serving harsh sentences, including whipping in public.
At present, a widespread lack of awareness of the principles and implementation methods of the JJSO appears to be the most serious obstacle to the protection of children in conflict with the law. In its Concluding Observations and Recommendations issued
About : Raja CRN
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