Rameez Ali Mahesar
The world’s first crime on the earth was committed by youthful offender. The holy Quran says killing a person is one of the unforgiveable sins. Habil and Qabil – the sons of Hazard Adam (AS) – committed the crime. Qabil murdered his elder brother Habil because of green-eyed monster.
Undoubtedly, the children are the assets, positive features and future of the nations and the world almost exactly is subjected to them for the development. But; if the same assets – children – start barking on the wrong trees, there remains no option of success for the countries.
If Children ranging from 10 to 17 years commit something illegal they are called juvenile delinquents. And the word Juvenile delinquency is defined as the phenomenon ofcrimes committed by children. They have moved away from the normal towards abnormal social behavior.This rising trend among children has produced fracas in the world. This problem has now become an ecumenical challenge. The pitfallslinked with juvenile delinquency in the Arab worldvary from country to country. In a study “the global situation of youth in the 1990s: trends and prospects” conducted by United Nations, Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, it is argued that juvenile delinquency and crimesin Asian countries are mostly urban phenomena. Numerically, the young people creäte the most feloniously active parts of the population. The most obvious trends in theregions are growth in drug-concernedcrimes and the noticeable increase in female juvenile delinquency and the rise in the violent acts performed by young people.
The children are the future of a nation but in Pakistan they do not have sufficient facilities like food, clean water and many more in the bargain. According to Police Management and Law Enforcement in Pakistan, in Ruralareas of Pakistan juvenile delinquency is begotten frompoverty, land disputes, water theft, illiteracy, factions and feuds, extortion terrorism, child trafficking and money grab. Whereas in the urban sections of the countryitentailsattempt murder, motor vehicle thefts, trial under murder, robbery, burglary, dacoity, hurt and drugs.
Statistical data within many countries demonstrate that delinquency is agreatly group discourse; all juvenile crimesbetween two-thirds and three-quarters are performed by participants of diverse groups.But the problem is; how is this snag briskly spreading among children? The riposte is; there are a number of factors pushing them practise illegal acts. Money, land, sexual assault, poverty, drug addiction, illiteracy, honour killing and old enmity are some of the biggest factors contribute this crime.Efforts are being put on the elimination of this misdeed but of no use.
As per the data excerpted from the Russian Federation, the frequency of criminal doings among juveniles in groups is round about three to four times greater than that of adult criminals.Juvenile group crime is most ubiquitous among 14-yearolds and least spread among 17-year-olds. The rates are higher for rape, theft and robbery, and lower for planned in advance murder and serious bodily damage. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules) suggest introducing positive steps to toughen a juvenile’s complete well-being and lower the need against State involvement.
The Riyadh Guidelines state that the prevention of juvenile delinquency is an important part of crime prevention in society at all.
The laws against juvenile crimes had been made but were strong in terms of punishment. As the children who fall between 7 to 18 years are accountable for the accusation of their behavior but those who fall below the age of 7 years, as British law considers it, are senseless about good and bad and do not possess a mens rea in this age.But the reforms have been brought in the laws concerning juvenile delinquency. How about a child being caught red handed? The punishments against young offenders have been supplanted by protection to be offered.
By July 1, 2000 JJSO (Juvenile Justice System Ordinance) was promulgated to fit eyelid upon the child in the way of criminal justice process. Article 12 of the JJSO demonstrates unambiguously that “no child shall be sentencedto death”.This is unequivocallytallied withthe Article 37 of the CRC (Convention on the rights of the Child) which proffers: “No one is allowed to punish children in a cruel or harmful way. Children who break the law should not be treated cruelly. They should not be put in prison with adults, should be able to keep in contact with their families, and should not be sentenced to death or life imprisonment without possibility of release”.
On the flip side, Amnesty International goes against the grain of death penalty in an unqualified manner as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and loweringchastisement and a violation of the right to life, as declared in Articles 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 3 elaborates that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person” and Article 5 states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.But, is there any amelioration after the laws were passed in the country?
As per a media report, after a law that announces child sexual abuse a criminal offence, numerous reports have arisen about teenagers and young children to be subjected to sex crimes. One of the major scandals of child abuses was arisen in 2015 when a gigantic extortion scandal and child abuse in Hussain Khanwala village of Kasur district became known to people.Initial probe into the scandal, christened to be the country’s biggest in the history, publicized around 400 videos of 280 victims over the last decade by an organised gang of over 25 criminals in Hussain Khanwala village.
Shagufta Gul jots down in her article “Juvenile justice system in Pakistan”, “according to the State of children in Pakistan report, 2015 so far Baluchistan has not yet set up a Borstal institute centre, KP owns one in Bannu, Punjab possesses two and four are in Sindh”. To increase the number of the centres, provincial governments must distribute more funds for setting up Borstal institutions for apt handling of the children as they meritof being in a separate environment away from adult offenders.
As far as police stations are concerned, they need to set up a database so that the exact number of children produced before the Juvenile Court and arrested can be proffered. In addition to this, juvenile delinquents are kept with adults behind the bars, the need is to develop a separate custody places within police stations soon after the arrests are made.The staff working at the police stations must be trained and provided with skills as to how to deal with children. Besides, Parents must give timeto their children in their socialization so that they can becomecautiousaboutwrongdoers.
Juvenile Delinquency; a political Football
Rameez Ali Mahesar